L O T O N U ' U
WHAT DOES LOTONU’U MEAN?
Lotonu’u simply means to love, respect, and have pride in your land. This term describes an individual’s connection to the Samoan culture and their sense of duty to family, village, and island as a whole. Lotonu’u is more than showcasing pride for a village and/or school during sporting events. It is a harmonious relationship of give and take between the land and its people to ensure a sustainable way of life.
WHY IT MATTERS:
Climate change is impacting different regions worldwide, but the Pacific Islands, including American Samoa, have been hit particularly hard. From rising sea levels, record storms, saltwater intrusion of crops and freshwater resources, our environments are being fundamentally altered. As we face these hardships as an island community, we need to respond actively by drawing on a long history of adaptation and traditional ecological knowledge to challenge these new modern threats and devise creative solutions for the future. The Lotonu’u Campaign aims to empower people of American Samoa to become environmental stewards, and attain environmental literacy to ensure the continuation of our culture, economic growth, wellness, and survival in the face of climate change and for the future.
LET’S WORK TOGETHER
Working together to combine our goals and those of the Lotonu’u Campaign can benefit both your agency, business, and our community. For example, a health agency can see the benefit of linking the health of American Samoan people to lotonu’u by making the connection of clean water, air, and lands to the health of our people. Businesses can continue to make money, benefiting from a healthy environment and thriving resources with minimal or no impact to the land. These lands and oceans have sustained generations of Samoans. In true essence, these islands have been like a mother, providing and nurturing us. The lyrics of “Lo Ta Nu’u” a popular Samoan song that is an anthem of pride and patriotism about our beautiful Samoa says it all: “Lo ta nu’u na ou fanau ai (My country, where I was born), Ua lelei oe i le vasa e (Magnificent are you in the ocean), Ua e maua ai mai luga o le tofi aoga (You have received from above, A heritage of value).”
We as Samoans and Pacific people are being faced with one of the greatest challenges ever known to mankind we are coming face-to-face with climate change. In the past, our ancestors faced adversity with strength and wisdom. We must continue their legacy and face climate change with the same tenacity. Following the guidelines below will help protect our island life from climate change impacts, and will strengthen our economy and culture.