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Environment and Renewable Energy (ERE) 




ERED Profile/Narrative

One of the primary functions of the Environment and Renewable Division (ERED) is to develop processes to increase the use of locally available renewable energy resources for both transportation and electricity generation purposes. Secondly, ERED is also tasked with carrying out environmental assessments for potential developments, as well as ongoing monitoring and research into local environmental threats (potential or real) on our natural resources such as waterways and forests. Product development or value adding research for our local resources is also performed by ERED when necessary. 

Fruit Spirits

Fruit Spirit is a project aimed at utilizing overly abundant fruits that is found locally in Samoa. Fruits such as mangoes, banana, starfruits, pineapple and soursop, the project also looked at the abundant starch based crops such as breadfruit, Samoan arrow root, sugar cane and taro. The pathway taken by this project was to develop a single production strategy that will be able to utilize both fruits and starch based crops at the lowest price possible. After two years of the project SROS has managed to develop a process that is applicable to both types of raw materials. Three different types of products have being identified and prototyped, which are Rum, Brandy and Whiskey. The focus and the priority of production is now being given to Taro as the flag carrier for whiskey production in Samoa. Taro is a root crop and is also starch based. Taro whiskey is now being produced and aged in American oak barrels in SROS. This project is funded under the Government of South Korea foreign aid

 Essential Oils

The extraction of fragrance from plant materials and flowers has being looked as one avenue to assist with the development of local communities. This project was funded under the assistance from the Government of Japan for grass root level communities in Samoa. This work investigate the extraction of essential oils from Ylang Yland or Moso’oi, Lemongrass or Moegālo and Eucalyptus leaves using three different production processes. In recent development SROS was able to extract essential oils from the three candidates using steam distillation and hydro distillation processes. The aim of this research is to hand over to any local company to produce essential oils using locally available fragrant flowers and more. This is looked at as a substitute for imported essential oils for soap making etc

Orchid Propagation Project

The ultimate goal of this project is to improve the economic and social wellbeing of the Samoan people through science and technology. The main aim for this project is to use biotechnology to cross pollinate imported orchids with Samoan endemic and native wild orchids to create new and improved orchids at a very low cost.

Samoa has some of the prettiest orchids in the world with more than 50 species to be found in one place Matavanu crater.

The floral industry has become one of the biggest global industry now a days and this project helps local nurseries with other idea and methods for the propagation and growth of new orchids and to see the potential of being exports.

Biomedical Research Project

This research project looks at screening different plant species both terrestrial and marine for inhibition activity towards certain enzymes. These enzymes in particular were lipase, tyrosinase and alpha-amylase. These enzymes are key factors in the beginning of some of the illness spreading around the world and especially in Samoa.

This project started off in 2014 with the mentorship and assistance of JICA Expert Professor Kenji Sakamoto a pharmaceutical scientist and expert of natural products.

Since 2014 the ERED research team has being screening plant extracts against these three enzymes. Candidates have being identified as powerful inhibitors of the alpha amylase enzymes. Currently from beginning of 2018 the focus is towards the search for more candidates for alpha amylase enzyme. From screening of plant extracts to purification of selected candidates to identification and individualising of each compound using a High Performance Liquid Chromatography.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Monitoring and Evaluation

Under the umbrella of the Samoa Water Sector, SROS is one of the Implementing Agencies that supported the sector through scientific technical and analytical testing for monitoring and evaluation of water quality from different sources. SROS through the Environment and Renewable Energy Division monitors and tests 11 priority sites identified by the water sector through the Water Resource and Management Division in MNRE. These sites are tested on the quarterly basis with serval parameters that indicated the level of pollution and quality status of each water body. The information provided is shared with Water Sector for public awareness and capacity building around Samoa.