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Samoa

Core analysis conducted in November 2023.

Overall NDC Equity Score

Average

+

Emissions Reductions

Exemplary

The NDC implementation will lead to major and fair reductions in GHG emissions, per historical responsibility.

+

Gender Justice

Aspiring

The NDC makes a strong effort to achieve gender mainstreaming, but lacks measures for meaningful impact.

+

Youth Inclusion

Critically Deficient

The NDC has significant gaps in addressing youth inclusion, potentially not addressing young people at all.

Summary

Samoa is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in the Pacific region. Samoa has served as chair for the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) which consists of countries from three (3) regional SIDS; Caribbean, Pacific, and African, Indian Ocean and South China Sea. Furthermore, Samoa has been at the forefront of climate advocacy through regional institutions such as the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP). Samoa has hosted several high-level regional events such as the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) meeting in 2014. Additionally, Samoa is hosting the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2024, which further adds to the role Samoa plays in the international and regional sphere of climate change.

 

Samoa is no stranger to climate change. In 2019, Samoa is ranked 130th out of 180 on the global climate risk index, highlighting its vulnerability to the climate crisis. For example, Samoa faced significant economic loss and damage due to Cyclone Evan (category 4), destroying 3 hydro power stations, which took 3 weeks to restore. The island nation also suffers from flooding and drought.

 

Despite its minimal contributions, on emissions reduction, the NDC emphasizes Samoa’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions, including reducing emissions 32% by 2030 for the energy sector, 4% in the water sector, and 26% in the Agriculture and Forestry sector. It also displays a fairly ambitious adaptation agenda, including commitments to expand mangroves, agroforestry, and forest cover. From focuses on capacity building to inclusion of traditional knowledge and a completion of an implementation roadmap, Samoa’s NDC represents a more holistic and action-oriented process compared to many other countries in the region.

 

Gender justice is a topic that has increasingly improved over the years as women are taking on leadership roles within the Samoan government; 25% of CEOs and 33% of board members were women. Another interesting point of discussion is the role of fa’afafine – which are people who identify as non-binary. The Fa’afafine in Samoan customs has been well acknowledged in several parts of Samoan society; however, in recent years, a more concrete definition and structure have allowed the Fa’afafine to be broadly accepted in Samoan society. Despite improvements, on gender justice, the NDC touches on its importance in climate action, however, there is no clear strategy on how gender considerations will be integrated into specific actions.

 

Similarly, on youth inclusion, young people are mentioned for their importance to tackling climate change; however, the NDC lacks concrete steps or programs to engage them. Though there is a mention of youth training, it is only focused on “restoration of degraded ecosystems in Samoa” for tree planting and forest restoration projects rather than climate action as a whole. 

Highlights

  • Strong commitments to reducing emissions and adapting to climate change
  • Completion of an NDC implementation roadmap
  • Spotlights capacity building, which indirectly benefits women and youth by strengthening institutional and human resource capacities
  • Emphasizes the value of integrating traditional knowledge into climate action, especially in the agriculture sector

Lowlights

  • Lack of concrete youth and women engagement practices
  • Lack of clear indicators on the disproportionate impact of climate change on women and young people
  • Failure to include a breakdown of transportation and shipping sector emissions

Key Recommendations

This analysis found that there is no emphasis on the importance of youth, outside of mentioning their proportion of the population. The term “gender” is mentioned nine (9) times, mostly in reference to gender policies rather than their vulnerability to impacts or role in leading on climate solutions.

Continued failure to formally recognize the role of women and young people are key stakeholders and active effort to include their perspectives in the NDC will inhibit holistic and inclusive implementation. The following are key recommendations for the improvement of future NDCs and other national climate plans:


For Gender Justice

  • Stronger participation practices and strategies for centering women’s role in climate action
  • Inclusion of women from rural and coastal communities in NDC development process
  • Improved monitoring, evaluation and reporting of gender-specific outcomes

For Youth Inclusion

  • Formal recognition that youth are key stakeholders
  • Stronger strategies and commitments on youth capacity building
  • Inclusion of climate-related education in national curriculum to ensure young people have the awareness and tools to take climate action
  • Stronger strategies of traditional knowledge transfer to younger generations that can support their development as climate leaders

NDC Ambassador - Author

Nicc Moeono

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