A recent project supported by UNDP in Samoa has empowered researchers — through a partnership between New York University and New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), the National University of Samoa and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment — to analyze samples from mangrove swamp, freshwater, and saltwater environmental resources of Upolu Island, Samoa, to determine their elemental composition and measure the presence of damaging substances, most likely introduced by humans. Technology from NYU allowed for a complete assessment in seconds, supplying a breakdown of components and concentration. Research identified the presence of harmful elements possibly from herbicides and pesticides as well as increased salinity likely due to climate change — both detrimental to the health of coral reefs. This project can be used to inform government policy for the implementation of mitigation efforts targeted at improved manufacturing processes, pest management, monitoring of salinity, etc. Increased high-quality data of this kind, will be critical in SIDS' climate response.

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