The ‘two million tree-planting program’ is part of the Samoa Pacific Games theme of ‘Greening the Games’, and Team PNG was the first country to respond to the call for the initiative on July 6th.
Team PNG athletes were led by Team PNG athlete reps, Lua Rikis and Milton Kisapai, who are also SDG champions for Papua New Guinea.
It is the aim of the 2019 Samoa Pacific Games to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by planting 200 trees for each country that participates at this Games.
The tree-planting coincides with the SDG Goal 15, Life on Land, which promotes the protection of forests, strengthens land resources management and land productivity.
Chef de Mission of Team PNG, Emma Waiwai, said Team PNG supports the Sustainable Development Goals and is pleased to be part of this program at the Games.
“Trees and forests play an important role in keeping the balance in our environment and ecosystems.
“We all feel the effects of environmental pollution as a result of our own actions and carelessness and planting trees is an important way in restoring the balance in our natural surroundings and Team PNG is proud to be a part of it,” said Waiwai.
In the Pacific, most of the land and natural waterways provide much of the resources and food that people need for their daily needs and survival, and the SDGs is a way of protecting them.
This is timely as the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Samoan Ministry of Natural Recourses and Environment (MNRE) look to make the 16th edition of the Pacific Games an environmentally friendly event as possible, reducing single use plastic bags.