NUKU’ALOFA-November 27: 3.40pm (R2R Media): There was unanimous agreement at the last Community Management Committee meeting of the Tonga Ridge To Reef Project held last Friday (November 24) that the project’s work so far has been successful.
The CMC met at the Davina House to receive reports from the Technical Working Group and the Project Management Unit for the last quarter of the year.
Meeting chairlady Evamaipomana Tu’uholoaki thanked the committee members and the project’s PMU for the work done in 2017, which has seen some programs being implemented around the project’s focal area – the Fanga’uta Lagoon Catchment Area.
A total of 26 communities are included in the R2R project’s programs.
Programs that have been included this year included the mangrove replanting at Hoi Village, the distribution of plant seedlings in the 26 schools around the Fanga’uta focal area, the waste awareness program, the STOP STRAY PIGS campaign earlier in the year, the launch of the environment friendly sanitation project at Nukunukumotu Island, the launch of Special Management Areas or marine protected areas in Lapaha and Nukuleka and the continuing assistance to communities through different programs.
Ms Evamaipomana said the success of the program has been due to the partnerships between the R2R Project, the different communities, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and stakeholders such as the Forestry Department, Fisheries Department and the Department of Tourism.
“I am grateful to all of you for the hard work put in during the year. I hope that everyone can enjoy the holidays coming up and come back refreshed in the new year,” she added.
R2R Project Manager Ta’hirih Hokafonu told the meeting in her presentation on the update so far this year that the project has done very well across the board.
She added that the project will now run until March 2018, with hopes of a second phase of funding coming in 2019.
That funding will be decided at the next Pacific R2R Council Meeting and Global Environment Facility (GEF) meeting in Hawaii in June 2018.