DPM Officially launched the two MACBIO Reports for Tonga
31st August,2017 Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni officially launched two MACBIO Reports known as the National Marine Ecosystem Service Valuation Report and the Biophysically Special, Unique Marine Areas Report for Tonga, yesterday evening at Davina House, Ma’ufanga.
The Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Management in Pacific Island Countries, is one of the projects currently implemented to Environment Department of MEIDECC. MACBIO has been implemented project or better known as MACBIO in 5 Pacific Island countries with the support of German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in close collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP) and with technical support from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Speaking to more than 20 participants, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni stated in his remarks that Tonga’s ocean is worth about half a billion Pa’anga every year according to a report initiated in Nuku’alofa on 30th August 2017.
“This is more than the value of Tonga’s exports. It’s a lot! Some of these values we see in the marketplace, for example, tourism brings in about TOP$9 million per year and tuna taken from the Tonga’s waters is worth over TOP$3.5 million annually”.
“More importantly, much of the value is “hidden”; it is NOT revealed in the market system. For example, many people in Tonga rely on marine resources that they harvest for food – this is valued at more than TOP$5.5million per year. Other hidden values, also not revealed in normal market transactions, include the value of marine ecosystems in coastal protection. For Tonga, our coastal ecosystem provide about TOP$20 million in value per year by protecting coastal communities and infrastructure from storms and cyclone damage; not that they prevent the damage – healthy coastal ecosystems can reduce the damage that would otherwise occur”, he added.
Hon. Sovaleni told the gathering that Tonga’s marine ecosystems also contribute to the world’s efforts to store carbon; by storing carbon, marine ecosystems prevent increases in climate change impacts. The ecosystem here in Tonga is worth well over TOP$1 million annually.
He concluded by thanking the MACBIO Project for partnering with the Government in producing the report and highlighting the importance to protect the entire range of goods and services that the marine environment of Tonga provides to her people.
Participated in the launching programme were the Senior Project Advisor MACBIO, Dr. Leanne Fernandes, Government CEOs, Members of Ocean 7, Representatives from NGOs, Private Sectors and guests.
Issued by the; Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication