Conservation International releases statement on Samoa’s plans to manage 100% and protect 30% of ocean

October 16, 2020

Conservation International today released statements from CEO Dr. M. Sanjayan and Leilani Duffy-Iosefa, Country Director, Conservation International – Samoa, in response to Government of Samoa’s announcement of the Samoa Ocean Strategy, a strategic plan to fully manage their entire ocean area and protect 30 percent.

Dr. M. Sanjayan:

“Today Samoa is making history. This bold commitment values the role of oceans in the wellbeing of its people now and into the future. For generations, Samoa has recognized the Pacific Ocean as the source of its social and economic wellbeing, recreation, fishing, and as a deep spiritual connection with the rest of the world. 

“The Samoa Ocean Strategy delivers a comprehensive pathway to sustainable management of Samoa’s ocean and marine resources. It defines prioritized thematic areas that encompass the ecological, cultural and socioeconomic values that Samoans derive from their ocean.  Conservation International is proud to have supported the development of the Samoa Ocean Strategy and today, we have launched a five-year agreement with the Government of Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Waitt Foundation’s Blue Prosperity Coalition to further strengthen ocean conservation, marine spatial planning, sustainable fisheries management and the blue economy in Samoa. 

“I am also deeply grateful to the Government of Samoa for dedicating the Samoa Ocean Strategy to Sue Miller-Taei, the former Executive Director of Conservation International’s Pacific Islands program, and true ocean warrior. Sue championed large-scale marine conservation throughout the Pacific and was a driving force behind the Framework for the Pacific Oceanscape. 

“Today is a proud day not just for Samoans, for all Pacific Islanders, and for Conservation International. The Samoa Ocean Strategy is a beacon of hope for our oceans.”

Leilani Duffy-Iosefa:

“Samoa’s commitment to protect 30 percent will result in 36,000 km2 of fully protected ocean by 2025. This marks a significant increase from the 1 percent currently under protection under existing legislation.”

The Samoa Ocean Strategy represents a significant positive change in Samoa’s development pathway towards integrated sustainable-use and management of ocean resources. This strategy will secure the natural bounty of their waters and to value the role of nature in the future of Samoa.” 

For more information, contact: 

  • Leilani Duffy-Iosefa, Country Director, Conservation International Samoa  | mobile +685 75 92 992 |  
  • Emmeline Johansen, Communications Director, Asia Pacific Field Division, Conservation International | Mobile +64 4 277 793 401 | Email:   

About the Blue Prosperity Coalition 

The Blue Prosperity Coalition is a network of NGOs, academic institutions, foundations, and other organizations working together to assist committed governments and local stakeholders to protect the environment and improve the economy at the same time. Based in San Diego, California, the Waitt Institute is a founding member and organizing body of the Blue Prosperity Coalition. They create and implement sustainable ocean plans by providing funding and technical expertise for Marine Spatial Planning, Blue Economy development, Marine Protected Areas, and sustainable fisheries management. They currently have partnerships in the Azores, Bermuda, Barbuda, Curaçao, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Maldives, and Tonga. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Conservation International 

Conservation International has worked in the Pacific Islands region for more than 20 years, initially launching their program from Samoa, the heart of Polynesia. Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature.  We work in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Learn more about our work in Samoa at Follow Conservation International's work on Conservation NewsFacebookTwitterInstagram and  YouTube.