Ozone Layer Protection Awareness Outreach Program to the Vava’u outer island communities of Hunga & ‘Ovaka

On Friday the 19th of November – the National Ozone Unit from the Department of Climate Change, Ministry of MEIDECC delivered the first ever ozone layer protection awareness campaign to any remote island of the Vava’u groups, specifically for the islands of Hunga & ‘Ovaka.

Participants of Hunga Community

Mr. ‘Aloisio Fifita, the head of Ozone Unit emphasized: “Every year, the ozone layer protection awareness campaign focuses on the main island targeting civil servants and private sectors. This year we approach from another perspective, targeting the promotion of ozone awareness of women development groups, growers and other levels of the community which have very little knowledge on ozone depletion and climate change.”

In addition, the ozone layer outreach program to Hunga and ‘Ovaka islands focused on three main areas: Ozone science/formation & depletion, Border security & roles of customs re the import of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon/Hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants and also the safe handling and storage of HCFC/HFC refrigerants and equipment.  The ozone team from Tonga was collaboratively joined by Mr. Sau Niulala from HM Customs and Mr. Fatafehi Fakatava from Tonga Refrigeration Engineering Association (TREA) to speak on the above mentioned areas of study and consultation.

The ozone layer protection awareness outreach program was conducted in the form of presentations and open forum discussions. It was attended by the town officers, representatives from youth, women’s group, community development groups and elderly locals of the Hunga and ‘Ovaka communities. One of the highlights of this awareness campaign is the golden opportunity to share the knowledge on ozone layer protection to different societal levels of the communities as well as expanding the list of stakeholders and outreach program networks and linkages.

In conclusion, the outreach program was with the collaboration and assistance of the Climate change officers from MEIDECC Vava’u and funded by the United Nations Environmental Programme. The outreach program will continue to the communities of the Main Island.

Participants from ‘Ovaka Community

Women’s group from ‘Ovaka Community