The management of Lake Lanoto'o, Samoa's largest permanent freshwater wetland, has seen considerable progress following the recent completion of the Ramsar Small Grants Fund project, "Improved Management of Samoa's first Ramsar Site, Lake Lanoto'o". The main improvements consist of trail upgrade and regular maintenance, signage development, site car park upgrade, ongoing control of invasive flora and restoration of degraded areas with selected native plant species.
A management plan for the site is in development, which once operational, will contribute to the effective management of the site. It incorporates the results of several field monitoring and assessment activities and surveys, including the Site Inventory Survey 2006, asurvey for two endemic and globally threatened birds (the Mao Gymnomyza samoensis and the tooth-billed pigeon Didunculus strigirostris) in 2006, and a Freshwater Fish Survey in 2008. Activities under the plan will not only encourage effective management of the site itself but will also improve the capacity and knowledge of the staff and local communities who were involved.
Several stakeholder consultations and educational programs on Lake Lanoto'o National Park targeted different levels of the community, private sectors and government ministries, and a commemoration of Environment National Events was organized, increasing awareness of the site's values. An "Awareness Strategy and Action Plan for National Parks and Reserves of Samoa" was developed and launched by the Ministry in 2010 and several other awareness materials on the importance of the site were produced and disseminated locally, including a Key Biodiversity Areas booklet for Samoa. Other organizations which offered support for the production of these materials include Conservation International (CI), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
-- Vai Jungblut, Ramsar Officer, SPREP
Awareness campaign for schools about Lake Lanoto'o
Sign board at the entrance to Lanoto'o
Stakeholders at the entrance to the Lake trail