Commencement of planting one million trees by 2023 and Coastal clean-up at Hihifo communities

The British High Commissioner to Tonga, Her Excellency Lucy Joyce, (OBE)

23rd September, 2021 The fourth day of the National Climate Change Awareness week starts with the official commencement of ‘planting one million trees by 2023’. This initiative is a target under Tonga’s Second National Determined Contribution (NDC).

Tonga submitted its Second NDC, in December 2020 with ambitious targets for mitigation and adaptation; one of its cross-cutting targets is the establishment of a forest inventory as a prerequisite to identify a greenhouse gas emission target for Tonga’s Third NDC in 2025, and planting one million trees by 2023.

Even though it is hard to quantify this target but through collaboration and partnership with other stakeholders we can identify the kind of trees and amount of Carbon Dioxide, trees can absorb to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases in Tonga. Not only that, but build resilience to coastal inundation and erosion, reduce soil erosion, promote food security, promote good health and sustain livelihoods.

The guest of honor at the commencement of tree planting and coastal clean-up was Her Excellency Lucy Joyce, (OBE) the British High Commissioner to Tonga. Also attending the commencement of tree planting was Hon. Losaline Ma’asi the Member of Parliament for Tongatapu 5 and also the Madam Chair of the Parliament Standing Committee on Environment and Climate Change. The tree planting was commenced with planted of the ornamental plants at the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga compound at ‘Ahau.

This generous donation is made available by the United Kingdom through the British High Commissioner to Tonga, by providing seedlings which included fruit trees, traditional, medicinal, ornamental, coastal and commercial plants. H.E Lucy Joyce said in her remarks that they are ‘please to be able to play a modest part in contributing towards the Kingdome of Tonga’s Nationally Determined Contribution of planting one million trees by 2023’. The Department is looking forward to continuous support in assisting Tonga to meet its target.

The day continued with a coastal clean-up from Kolovai to Ha’atafu with the support of Elder ‘Inoke Fotu Kupu and the Liahona High School’s Staff, Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints Stake members of Kolovai and Matahau, Tonga National Youth Congress, Sopu Youth, Hihifo Youth, Hihifo District Officer and Town Officers, local communities and MEIDECC staffs.

ENDS

Issued by the: Department of Climate Change (MEIDECC)