Governor: “Even small losses make big impacts”

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From the Governor’s Office, the Inter-Agency Group for Insular Areas (IGIA) meeting that Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga and ASG officials attended, along with Congresswoman Uifaatali Amata, discussed climate resilience, infrastructure development, economic stability, and national security in American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, and the US Virgin Islands (USVI).

The exchange shed light on the intricate web stemming from insufficient data availability and discrepancies in data representation.

Tools used to guide federal agencies in identifying disadvantaged communities have struggled to accurately capture the nuanced realities of the territories, often resulting in an oversimplified depiction of their disadvantaged status.

The conversation highlighted the need for a concerted effort to strengthen capacities and ensure equitable representation of U.S. territories all across the board.

From Guam’s economic strides to American Samoa’s plea for efficient processes and enhanced healthcare initiatives, each territory brought forth its own tale of triumphs and tribulations.

Governor Lemanu remarked, “When your home is as vulnerable as ours to climate change, even small losses make great impacts.”

He also highlighted the challenges American Samoa faces when it comes to the cabotage law and transportation/connectivity, and finding a balance between conservation efforts and economic viability amidst the proposed national marine sanctuary.

Both, Governor Lemanu and Congresswoman Uifaatali expressed their gratitude for the Department of Interior’s support of H.R. 6062 to restore the ability of the people of American Samoa to approve amendments to our constitution based on majority rule in a democratic act of self-determination.

Updates from the White House Infrastructure Office and the Department of Agriculture shed light on ongoing efforts to enhance connectivity, manage invasive species, and promote agricultural sustainability in the territories.