Situation Analysis

Mangroves in Samoa are under on-going pressure of conversion mostly to make way for: new roads, seawalls, housing and tourism development (particularly on Upolu Island). Reclamation for businesses, hotels, road and seawall infrastructure is notable in the urban area of Apia as these government-owned mangrove lands are subdivided and sold for commercial developments.

Waste disposal in the mangroves (e.g. Vaiusu bay) and uncontrolled cutting and clearing are additional threats which are being experienced in some other parts of Samoa.


MESCAL Samoa aims to increase resilience of the Samoan people to climate change through adaptive co-management of mangroves and associated ecosystems by achieving the following outcomes:

  1. Improved baseline scientific and traditional knowledge in biological, economic, social and cultural aspects of mangroves resources and the value of mangroves as a Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change Adaptation strategy.
  2. Strengthened governance of mangrove resources in the context of climate change.
  3. Integrated stakeholder based improved [top-down and bottom-up) governance at a selected demonstration site for improved conservation and rehabilitation of mangroves using traditional and scientific knowledge.
  4. Increased awareness, advocacy and capacity development in relation to the value of mangroves to coastal communities.

Priority areas

  1. National legislation/strategies/policies guiding mangrove management and conservation
  2. Research and monitoring
  3. Mangrove GIS mapping and zoning
  4. Mangrove resource governance (control)
  5. Mangrove Protected Areas and rehabilitation
  6. Awareness and capacity building
  7. Mangrove database/nventory

Mangrove management

MESCAL Samoa is supported by Samoa’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). However, despite efforts by the Samoan government and other relevant partners on mangrove conservation, MESCAL Samoa is the first (funded) national project specific to mangrove and climate change ever implemented since the development of the said Plan. Therefore current efforts and available information on Samoa mangroves cannot realistically portray the holistic situation of this important ecosystem at the national level. 

  • On the ground activities - MESCAL Samoa
  • Samoan children, Savai’i Island, Samoa

    Samoan children, Savai’i Island, Samoa

    Photo: Helen Pippard

  • Sa’anapu community mangrove conservation area, Samoa

    Sa’anapu community mangrove conservation area, Samoa

    Photo: Imène Meliane