In late January, a joint SPREP and United Nations Development Programme mission spent a week in Tonga assisting the Government with the development of a draft proposal for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The project will encompass adaptation options for Vava’u, Ha’apai and Tongatapu, focusing on coastal resilience options. The project is based on evidence of vulnerabilities and climate change impacts and considers an integrated approach to reduce and manage the impacts of climate change, the needs of the communities, and ecosystems functions and services.
The joint mission consulted widely with the Tongan Government under the leadership of the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, as well as staff in the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC). Relevant experts were also drawn in from ministries and agencies, including civil societies, that are members of the Tonga Joint National Action Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, or commonly known as the JNAP technical team.
The draft project will build on experiences from several past and ongoing projects in Tonga, including the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change project, the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience, and the Biodiversity Rapid Assessment project. The project will see UNDP as the lead Implementing Entity to submit the proposal to the GCF, with MEIDECC as the national Executing Entity and SPREP as a partner agency. It will largely be a nationally implemented project with a combination of coastal resilience actions, as well as a number of capacity building and institutional strengthening measures.
The joint mission was led by Mr. Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Head- Climate Change Adaptation, UNDP and Dr. Netatua Pelesikoti, Director Climate Change SPREP.