Resilient Seas: Navigating Change with Davina Bartley and Moli Iakopo


5 December, 2023, Apia, Samoa – In the island of Samoa, where the winds carry tales of resilience, Davina Bartley and Moli Iakopo emerged as beacons of change, armed with the knowledge acquired through the USP Pacific European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) project funded Certificate 4 in Resilience (Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction). Their stories depict empowerment, growth and transformation.

The USP PEUMP project is supported by the European Union and the Government of Sweden.

Davina Bartley: Sailing the Seas of Resilience

Figure 1: Davina Bartley

Davina, a mother of six, defied the odds by graduating just a week after welcoming her sixth child into the world. Her journey with the certificate program became a catalyst for change not only in her workplace but also within her home and community.

Armed with newfound knowledge, Davina became a driving force for resilience. She seamlessly integrated her learnings into her daily life, creating ripples of positive change. At home, she instilled a culture of safety and sustainability, guiding her family in cultivating disaster-resistant crops. Her village, inspired by her efforts, embraced health and safety principles, initiating small-scale projects like vegetable plots that bolstered their resilience.

Davina’s impact extended beyond her immediate circles. In her role as Project Assistant in the Waste Management & Pollution Control section at SPREP, she supported OHS practices, earning the trust and respect of her colleagues. Her ability to apply cost-benefit analysis not only elevated her work but also became a beacon of wisdom for her community, guiding them in strategic decision-making.

Her journey was paved with unwavering support—from her workplace, family, and community. A testament to the power of collaboration, Davina’s resilience journey earned her an A+ in all categories, marking not just a personal achievement but a community triumph.


Moli Amosa Iakopo: Casting Nets of Wisdom

Figure 2: Moli Iakopo

Moli’s story mirrors the ebb and flow of the tides, where a commitment to learning becomes a navigational chart leading to leadership. A seasoned Fisheries Officer, the course equipped Moli with the tools needed to identify and mitigate risks, not only within her work vicinity, but also the environment surrounding it.

But it was also not without an added layer of resilience. The year 2020, when Moli embarked on the Climate Resilience course, was a time when she was also pregnant with her third child; navigating the intricacies of the course while managing the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy. But Moli pressed on.

The tools acquired during the course became essential for Moli’s role as a Fisheries Officer, allowing her to identify and mitigate risks not only within the confines of her work but also in the broader environmental context.

The positive impact of Moli’s journey was reflected in the rise of her career. As she ascended to the role of Principal Fisheries Officer, the knowledge gained from the resilience program became instrumental in steering Samoa’s fisheries development. Her participation in regional climate change on Fisheries workshop showcased her expertise, allowing her to contribute valuable insights based on Samoa’s unique challenges and solutions.

For both Davina and Moli, the Certificate 4 in Resilience training was not just a course but a transformative journey. As these women continue to navigate the complexities of climate change and disaster risks, their stories echo across the Pacific, inspiring others to sow seeds of resilient and watch it grow into trees of change.

USP is one of four key implementing partners of the PEUMP Programme, a EUR 45million program which promotes sustainable management and sound ocean governance for food security and economic growth while addressing climate change resilience and conservation of marine biodiversity.

It follows a comprehensive approach, integrating issues related to ocean fisheries, coastal fisheries, community development, marine conservation and capacity building under one single regional action. The PEUMP programme is housed within the Institute of Marine Resources within the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS).

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