Director Lefega Fa’amao Asalele Jr. pictured with participants of the 2019 Dry Litter Exchange Workshop hosted by the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA) from October 7th – 11th, 2019. Summit participants included representatives from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) which includes the islands of Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Cook Islands.
The American Samoa Environment Protection Agency (AS-EPA) hosted the Dry Litter Piggery Program Workshop in American Samoa from October 7 – 11, 2019. The workshop brought together national representatives from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) which include Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Cook Islands to the Territory through funds made available from the Pacific Regional International Waters Ridge to Reef Project (IW R2R) via the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The workshop focused on the Dry Litter Piggery Technology, Waste Management, Water Quality monitoring, best management practices (BMPs), and the use of local regulations as a tool to improve BMPs. The AS-EPA, in partnership with the Interagency Piggery Management Group (IPMG), conducted the workshop through a series of presentations, field demonstrations, and discussion forums which highlighted contributions from each department in managing local piggeries and the use of dry litter systems. The IPMG consists of the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Commerce (DOC), the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) Land Grant Division, and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource and Conservation Service Office.
All participating countries (Tuvalu, Kiribati, FSM and Cook Islands) have identified pig waste management as an ongoing problem due to excess nutrient loads to the environment in their respective jurisdiction and are willing to acquire shared information to help resolve these problems. The exchange exposed the participants to a long term coordinated approach to pig waste management.
AS-EPA shared local knowledge on Dry Litter operations with our neighboring Pacific Islands in order to improve environmental health in their respective jurisdictions. The exchange and networking amongst the respective Pacific Islands jurisdictions are pathways to bringing environmental case studies to the forefront of environmental governance by sharing solutions, and applying them where deemed necessary for each island jurisdiction.
At the conclusion of the workshop on Friday October 11, 2019, AS-EPA Director Fa’amao Asalele Jr. thanked the regional representatives for their active participation in the workshop and encouraged the SPC Ridge to Reef Program to build more partnerships with American Samoa. Director Asalele further said, “If we can leverage our experiences, success factors, and challenges on piggery management over the last decade in the Territory to help other islands build their own capacity, then we are imparting the true meaning of public service in the region.”
Director Asalele also acknowledged the Honorable Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga for his vision for American Samoa to play a positive role in the Pacific region by assisting our neighboring countries with building their capacity in the area of piggery management. He also expressed his deep gratitude to the Office of the Governor for authorizing the workshop and providing invaluable support.