Raising awareness on the GCF Tonga Country Programme in Ha’apai as part of the National Climate Change Awareness Week

A consultation in Ha’apai was conducted on the 24th July 2019 at the Maamafo’ou Hall, Pangai by the Green Climate Fund Tonga Readiness & Preparatory Support Programme (GCF-RPSP) under the Department of Climate Change, MEIDECC as part of the National Climate Change Awareness Week.

Fifteen participants attended the meeting representing Government Ministries, Private Sectors and Non- Government Organization (NGOs). The purpose of today’s meeting was to give an introduction to the GCF Tonga Country Programme (endorsed in October 2018), which consolidates national priorities initially drawn from both governments endorsed strategic plans and previous consultations for climate resilience to be developed into proposals for GCF Support.

Mrs. Seini ‘Ela Vaipulu the Officer In Charge from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Ha’apai delivered the opening prayer, followed by the opening remarks from Reverend Dr. Tevita Tonga Mohenoa Puloka, Governer of Ha’apai emphasized the impacts of climate change here in Ha’apai. “We have asked the local people to avoid cutting down trees because of how vulnerable the low lying areas are to the impacts of sea level rise, imagine a place with no trees, let’s plant more trees for it is important for our atmosphere and for all of us, he said.

GCF-RPSP Officers Ms. Malia ‘Avala and Ms. ‘Elisapeta ‘Akau’ola presented the pipeline projects listed under the Tonga GCF Country Program, which are aligned with visions of the National Climate Change Policy and the Second Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, to achieve a ‘Resilient Tonga by 2035’.

One of the pipeline projects presented in the Tonga Country Programme addresses the vulnerability of Tongatapu, Vava’u and Ha’apai coastal systems due to coastal erosion as a result of sea level rise. Participants identified and reiterated the main priority for Ha’apai is to build a coastal protection measures their resilience to the impacts of climate change.

A similar consultation will take place tomorrow with local district and town officers.

Ends

Issued by the Department of Climate Change (MEIDECC)