Tonga Ocean draft mapping begins

Participants, facilitators and guests at the Marine Spatial Planning Tonga Ocean Map drafting workshop at the Waterfront Restaurant and Lodge this morning. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

Nuku’alofa – July 10, 2019: 1.30pm (Enviro News): The drafting of a Tonga Ocean Map to be used as a guide for the second round of the Marine Spatial Plan consultation is being done in Nuku’alofa this week.

Stakeholders are meeting at the Davina Restaurant and Lodge today and at the Davina House tomorrow to work on a draft ocean map.

This is part of the Marine Spatial Plan process being followed by the Tonga Ocean 7 team, tasked with putting together a Tonga Ocean Plan that will help manage the Kingdom’s ocean and its resources.

Lands, Survey and Natural Resources Chief Executive Officer Rosamond Bing opened the drafting meeting this morning and reminded all stakeholders involved about the importance of the work that they will be engaged in.

“What we are doing today and tomorrow is very important in the whole process of the planning that is being done,” she said.

The planned Tonga Ocean Plan will be taken to the different communities around Tonga later this year, following the first round of consultation that was completed last month.

Facilitating the drafting of the maps are officers from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) office in Suva, led by Dr Leanne Fernandes.

Participants at the drafting meeting include officials from the Ministry of MEIDECC, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Infrastructure, Marine Department, Ports Authority and the Ministry of Land, Survey and Natural Resources.

The MSP process is being funded by the OCEAN5, VEPA, IUCN, Waitt Institute, Italian Ministry of Environment and the Department of Environment Tonga.

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