CMS Secretariat is pleased to announce that Samoa has become
the 93rd Party to CMS on 1 November 2005 – the first
of the Small Island Developing States in the Pacific Island
Region to accede to the Convention. Samoa consists of two
main islands called Savaii and Upolu, as well as several smaller
islands and uninhabited islets. Located in the South Pacific
Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand,
the archipelago features tropical climate with a rainy season
and a dry season, both of which last for about six months.
The islands’ over 175.000 inhabitants concentrate mainly
on the narrow coastal plains, which surround the volcanic,
rocky, rugged mountains in the interior.
Samoa’s 403 kilometres of coastline point to the
emphasis on marine species listed on the CMS Appendices.
The islands’ marine area is home to six species listed
in Appendix I of the Convention, including two whale species
such as the Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
and Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), and
four species of endangered marine turtles, namely the Leatherback
Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Green Turtle (Chelonia
mydas), Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta)
and Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).
Another four species of Samoa’s wildlife are listed
on Appendix II, ranging from the Sanderling (Calidris
alba) and the Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres),
two migratory bird species, to the Salt-water Crocodile
(Crocodylus porosus) and the Monarch Butterfly
Samoa is a contracting party to a number of other environmental
conventions, including the Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD), the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),
and the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
As the first Small Island Developing State that joined
CMS in the Pacific Island Region, Samoa can act as an ambassador
for CMS in the region, especially considering its prominent
role within the South Pacific community. By promoting CMS
and sharing with neighbour countries the benefits it will
accrue by acceding to the Convention, Samoa can have an
active share in conserving migratory animals as part of
the stunning natural heritage of the Pacific. Small island
states have high animal diversity and are often situated
along migratory routes of important avian and marine life.
Migratory species connect islanders, their countries and
ecosystems; they certainly have an important role to play
in their sustainable development.