15th December 2020 A Youth Stakeholders Workshop was successfully conducted at the LDS Chapel in Pouono, Vava’u by the Department of Climate Change, MEIDECC. The objective is to increase knowledge of the youth of Vava’u on climate change impacts and the investment areas of climate finance donors toward addressing national climate change mitigation and adaptation priorities on-ground.
The event opened with a prayer by the Talihau Town Officer, Bishop Stanley Tahifote, giving thanks for the beautiful day and for bringing the MEIDECC staff with the opportunity for the youth of Vava’u to learn from. The welcoming remarks was done by Manu Manuofetoa, the coordinator of the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Scaling Up Pacific Adaptation. He welcomed the attendees with warm greetings and thanking them for availing their time to be able to attend the workshop. Ms. Frances Satini, did a brief introduction and linked how some of the projects are tied directly to “Tonga’s Joint National Action Plan II on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management” and its objectives in trying to build a resilient Tonga by 2030. Mr. Manuofetoa continued with some briefing on “What is Climate Change?” It was interesting to find out that only a few knew what climate change is and how it is affecting our daily lives.
Elizabeth ‘Akauola, the Green Climate Fund Readiness 2 Programme Coordinator introduced the Green Climate Fund and showing how to access the fund starting from the local level. She urged the Youth of Vava’u to work together in coming up with ideas for Proposals and projects to build a resilient Vava’u for submission to the GCF. To this day, Tonga has secured over USD$32 million in total GCF financing, USD$3 million of which were approved for enhancing the capacities of national institutions to efficiently engage with the Fund.
Questions like “Can the youth of Vava’u submit a project for waste managememt and land management?” and the answer for it was Yes! But they have to partner up with Waste Authority to further discuss and develop the proposal together. The closing remarks was done by the Tu’anuku town officer, Mr. Amanaki Funaki. He highly recommended this kind of workshop to be done regularly because the amount of information and the level of inspiration that they got from this workshop is very much appreciated. Mr. Funaki hoped that from this, everyone will go home with the idea that if we do not start acting now as the youth of today, nothing will ever get done to contribute to building a Resilient Tonga.
Issued by the Department of Climate Change (MEIDECC)