The New Way Forward for Tongan coastal and marine waters
The Kingdom of Tonga is embarking on the process to deliver ICMSP. Preliminary work has started on preparing a Diagnostic study for Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) using GCCA funds (May 2014 ongoing). This is a priority of the JNAP CCA & DRM and has been approved for funding assistance from the EU/SPC GCCA-PSIS Project. In order to extend this to include marine areas (beyond the reef flat into deeper waters), this shall involve the following:
Comprehensive assessment work of available baseline marine related data to support an integrated planning process:
Setting of objectives and core principles:
Planning and management framework setting for all Tongan coastal and marine waters: and
Procedures for the future implementation of the first ever formal Marine Spatial Plan (amongst all GCC nations) to include institutional arrangements, clear advice for marine regulation enforcement, future research programmes and marine data management frameworks.
The ICMSP process is iterative, and 2014 shall be a landmark year towards providing the platform for its launch. The figure below outlines this iterative process, which enables lessons to be learnt and new information to be gathered over time.