15th December 2017 **Tonga is highly dependent on intermittent rainwater harvesting and thinning groundwater levels for potable water, and such rainfall patterns and thin groundwater lens is further exacerbated with the onset of climate change through prolonged drought periods and rising sea-level. It is a real threat to our water security, Tonga’s Head of Delegation told the Asia Pacific Water Summit. **
10 November 2017, UNFCCC COP23, Bonn, Germany – Reducing the risks from climate change and disasters would be futile if it does not reduce the risks to those who are most disproportionately impacted.
“Climate change and disasters threaten core human rights and prioritizing those most impacted by disasters and climate change must be the priority of all decision makers,” said the Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation for the Fijian Government.
LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP IN TONGA
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has a long standing partnership with Caritas Tonga, we have been working together on livelihood programmes since 2007. Other projects include supporting a Climate Change Officer, and Disaster Risk Reduction initiatives. They are co-researchers in our State of the Envrionment in Oceania report which will be released on St Francis’ Day, October 4.
15th August, 2017 Directors of national meteorological services and officials from the Pacific have convened in Honiara this week to attend the Pacific Meteorological Council Meeting (PMC) under the theme ‘Sustainable Weather, Ocean and Water Services for a Resilient Pacific’.
The meeting was officially opened by Solomon Islands Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology Hon. Samuel Manetoali yesterday morning at the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency conference room.
13 April 2017, Tonga - The government of Tonga, with support from the United Nations Development Programme-UN Environment National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP) is making progress toward finalizing its second Joint National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management (JNAP 2).
The implementation of eco-system based reduction and adaptation approaches that includes biodiversity should help Pacific countries reduce the increasing incidence and severity of disasters that is leaving more people vulnerable each year in the region.
That was something participants at the “Ecosystem Services for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction – a ‘win-win’ situation” workshop in Nadi, Fiji learned last week.
27th February 2017 - On Friday 24 February, the Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of MEIDECC officially launched the Tonga Climate Change Trust Fund at a ceremony held at Dr. Moultons Hall. The Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni remarked on the challenges climate change places on local communities, and that the operationalization of the Tonga Climate Change Trust Fund is designed specifically for assisting local communities in alleviating the effects of climate change.
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.
16 November 2016, UNFCCC COP22, Marrakech, Morocco - The Government of Tonga's approach in combining climate change and disaster risk considerations into overall development planning is a proactive step in not only accessing financial mechanisms with the overall aim of building the resilience of communities.
24th August 2016 The Chief Executive Officer of Climate Change under the Ministry of MEIDECC Mr. Paula Pouvalu Ma’u officially opened a one day Tonga National Green Climate Fund Workshop at Tungi Colonade, Nuku’alofa yesterday morning.
The workshop aimed to discuss with key Government Departments, Development Partners, GCF Accredited Entities, private sectors and civil society the mechanics of the GCF and Tonga’s ambitions to access and utilization of GCF resources.
A report on Climate Financing and Risk Governance Assessment (CFRGA) for Tonga, was launched by Tatafu Moeaki, the CEO for Tonga’s Ministry of Finance and National Planning on Monday.
The 152 pages report outlines government’s plan to improve its disaster risk management activities so that it could respond effectively to climate change impacts.
It offers a comprehensive picture of how much climate change financial support Tonga needs, and it is anticipated that it should also put Tonga in a strong position to access Climate Change Funding.
02nd March - Ms. Coral Pasisi, Green Climate Fund Advisor for the Pacific, in a consultation in Nukualofa, briefed Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for MEIDECC last Friday, on how Tonga can access funding from the GCF through submission of a Readiness concept note and proposal to the GCF Secretariat.
Administered by SPREP, the Regional Technical Support Mechanism (RTSM) is a registered network of experts in climate change who can provide coordinated and timely technical advice on appropriate resource opportunities, strategic approaches and technical assistance on climate change, as linked to food security and infrastructure, to Pacific island countries on a needs basis.
This network also provides, where necessary, support in developing project proposals, preparing reporting requirements and implementing, and monitoring projects.
22nd February 2016 A Partnership Pilot Project is being implemented on the remote Ha'apai Island of Mounga'one by the Government of Tonga, through its Meteorology and Emergency Managements Departments, the Tonga Red Cross, the Secretariat of the Pacific Environmental Program (SPREP), the Government of Finland (through the FINPAC Project) and UNESCO.
The initiative is aimed at reducing the vulnerability of the Mounga'one Community livelihoods to Climate Change and Natural Disasters through improved meteorology and tsunami warning services.
Training and pre-positioned emergency supplies means that people on the Tongan island of Vava'u are more prepared as they face Cyclone Winston's damaging winds for a second time in just a few days.
Passing Vava'u earlier in the week as a Category Two storm that damaged crops and caused power outages, Cyclone Winston has made an about-turn and is now a Category Four cyclone with the potential to cause serious damage.
16th October, 2015 - The Prime Minister of Tonga, the Hon. 'Akilisi Pohiva, officially opened the Coastal Protection Project in eastern Tongatapu as part of the country's efforts to build resilience to climate change.
14th September 2015 Climate Change and its effect have become top priority for Government, since the first moves to push the agenda to the top of government’s priorities 15 years ago.
Senior Climate Change Officer Sione Fulivai said Climate Change has become a high priority area for Tonga and the Pacific for that matter, because of the geological and geographical make-up.
As part of the National Broadcasters Climate and Disaster Resilience Plan project, the Tonga Broadcast Commission (TBC) was able to complete their Climate and Disaster Resilience plan in August.
The National Broadcasters Climate and Disaster Resilience Plan project is supported by the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) which is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Government of Australia.
06 August 2015 :Government and stakeholders from the private sector and non-government organizations are discussing the re-designing of the Tonga Climate Change Policy here in Nuku’alofa.
The two-day meeting, which was opened by Mr Paula Ma’u, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications at the National Emergency Management Office at Va’oloaloa this morning.
Pacific Climate Scientists from throughout the Region are in Tonga this week on the invitation of the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni and the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) of the Government of Tonga to launch a new project that will provide nationally-tailored information on seasonal climate prediction to improve climate services in the Pacific Islands.