Panel 8. Paper 8.3: Address flood threats to protect rural landscape heritage and enhance cultural tourism

Aita, Dexell and Menzies, Diane H. (2019) Panel 8. Paper 8.3: Address flood threats to protect rural landscape heritage and enhance cultural tourism. In: ICOMOS 2019 Advisory Committee Scientific Symposium - Rural Heritage - Landscapes and Beyond, 17 October 2019, Marrakesh, Morocco. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

Apia has repeatedly been hit by floods exacerbated by climate change. Apia is the capital of the small island nation of Samoa, in the Pacific. The floods from three watersheds start high in the steep rural areas through which the streams traverse. The streams become rushing torrents, destroying the subsistence farms, soils, homes, crops and properties upstream. Downstream flooding impacts buildings, businesses and tourism in the small city as well as the ecology of the harbour, through repeated silt deposits. A flood management project, which binds Fa’a Samoa, (Samoan cultural practices) to technical landscape management practice, can also lead to enhanced tourism opportunities by conserving crops, crafting and sharing the cultural narratives. The stories about the steep lush countryside, plants, people’s customs and deep understanding of their landscapes are for telling as part of traditional practice. The historic home of Robert Louis Stevenson, known locally as Tusitala, (the story teller) in this watershed, is an inspiration for building on his and Samoan legends through traditional narrative. While flood mitigation is the driver for this Masters of Landscape Architecture study, the cultural wisdom obtained through meetings and interviews are also a basis for enhanced cultural tourism. This may include the sales of tapa and other traditional rural products, walkways to villages, hospitality and cultural demonstrations such as weaving, tatau (Samoan tattooing) and cocoa making. In the course of addressing the threat of flooding, and building new knowledge and landscape management ideas, a better economic future based on cultural heritage and tourism may also result.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Aita, Dexell
Menzies, Diane H.
Languages: English
Keywords: Cultural Landscapes; Rural Heritage; Rural landscapes; climate changes; floods; natural disasters; prevention of risks; threats; risk management; traditional practices; local communities; Samoa; cultural tourism; economic development; economic aspects; management plans
Subjects: Q. LANDSCAPES > 06. Agricultural Landscapes
G.DETERIORATION > 02. Causes of deterioration
G.DETERIORATION > 03. Climate change
G.DETERIORATION > 05. Prevention of deterioration
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 02. Agricultural heritage
J.HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 05. Heritage and sustainable development
National Committee: ICOMOS International
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2019 Advisory Committee Scientific Symposium
Depositing User: ICOMOS DocCentre
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2019 15:50
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2023 15:02
References: Amataga Penaia, A. T.-G. (n.d.) Reducing Flood Risk - From Science to Policy: The Samoa Process. Retrieved from Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme:

Apia Waterfront Development Project - Waterfront Plan 2017 - 2026. (2016) Retrieved from Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment:

Environment, M. O. (2013) Enhancing Resilience of Coastal Communities of Samoa to Climate Change - Inception Workshop Report. Retrieved from United Nations Development Programme:

ENVIRONMENT, M. O. (n.d.) Samoa Flood Management Action Plan 2007 - 2012. Retrieved from Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme:

IWATA, K. (n.d.) Flood Analysis in the Urban Area of Apia, Samoa Islands Using 2D Numerial Model. Retrieved from School of Engineering Hokkaido University:

Planning and Urban Management Agency, M. O. (2014). Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Apia, Samoa. Retrieved from UN-HABITAT FOR A BETTER URBAN FUTURE:

Stephen Yeo, S. E.-G. (2017, December). Urban Flood Risk Management in the Pacific: Tracking Progress and Setting Priorities.Retrieved from Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery:

Woodruff, A. (2008, February). Samoa Technical Report - Economic Analysis of Flood Reduction Measures for the Lower Vaisigano Catchment Area. Retrieved from Pacific Water:

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