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Manaaki Whenua had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Art Whistler from the University of Hawai'i as he presented a lecture on the flora of Samoa. Dubbed the 'king of the forest' by Samoan locals, it is not difficult to see why Art has achieved almost mythical status for his contribution to Pacific ethnobotany – the study of plants' cultural use. His lecture demonstrated a lifetime's dedication to compiling a comprehensive taxonomy of Samoan flowering plants.

“Vanishing Knowledge” is a 2011 film by Anna Sierpińska. This 30 minute film takes a brief look at the wonder of primary forest on ‘Eua, Tonga and Viti Levu, Fiji. Dr. Art Whistler underscores the difficulty to reproduce forest biodiversity to an original state once forests have been destroyed. This film was produced with the support of UNESCO Office in Apia, Samoa.