Department of Climate Change

Tonga is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of Climate Change due to its geographic, socioeconomic and geological characteristics. These vulnerabilities fundamentally affect the environment, the people and livelihoods as well as the sustainable development of Tonga.

The Government of Tonga hence considers climate change as one of the priority objectives and outcomes of its National Strategic Development Framework, 2015-2025 and budgetary processes.

The Climate Change Division was established at Ministry of Lands, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources with budget allocated from Government during the 2012-2013 financial year. This Division was raised to a Departmental level which also merged with other six Departments of the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) which was established in July 2014.

Objective, Outcomes & Strategies

“Improve resilience to the impacts of climate change”is the objective of the Department of Climate Change. This objective is consistent with the National Outcome F and Organizational Outcome 5.4 of the Tonga Strategic Development Framework (TSDF), 2015-2025

National Outcome F: More inclusive, sustainable and effective land administration, environment management and resilience to climate and risks.

Organizational Outcome 5.4: Improved resilience to extreme natural events and impacts of climate change

Mandate and Functions

Department of Climate Change derives its legal mandate from the Environment Management Act, 2010. The core functions of the Department under the EMActare as follows;

  • Liaise with government ministries, departments and agencies in relation to issues  affecting the environment and climate change;
  • Advise government in matters relating to environment management including climate change and the protection and conservation of natural resources and promotion of sustainable development;
  • Prepare environment and climate change policies and plans;
  • Facilitate, conduct and participate in environmental research;
  • Promote public awareness  and education  in relation to environmental issues including climate change;
  • Facilitate participation of non-government organisations in environmental management including climate change;
  • Ensure that laws of the Kingdom relating to the management and protection of the environment and climate change adaptation and mitigation are reviewed, implemented and enforced;
  • Functions in relation to environmental management shall also include matters relating to climate change and ozone depletion.