Nuku’alofa – August 22, 2018: 3.30pm (Enviro News): Staff of the Department of Environment here in Nuku’alofa joined the Climate Day Exhibition 2018 at the Queen Salote Memorial Hall on Friday, August 17.
The Director of Environment, Ms Atelaite Lupe Matoto led the team to the day’s celebration and was joined by her senior management team and staff.
Environment set up an Information Booth at the exhibition venue, along with other stakeholders who were there to share their information and more about their services to the people of Tonga.
The Minister of Environment (MEIDECC), Hon Poasi Tei, was chief guest at the event and toured the booths, meeting with staff of the various ministries and organisations.
Mr Paula Ma’u, the Chief Executive Officer for MEIDECC, was also present at the event.
School children also participated and presented speeches on Climate Change.
Also on show were classic wears made out of rubbish that children paraded during the day.
The program was put together by the Department of Climate Change.
Meanwhile, the Climate Change Department also launched its revised Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management at the event.
Also referred to as ‘JNAP2’, the plan plays a central role in guiding the government’s continuous efforts to build resilience to climate change and minimize disaster risks.
The Hon. Poasi Tei, Minister for the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC), officially launched JNAP2 at the Queen Salote Memorial Hall to mark the completion of Tonga’s Climate Change Awareness Week, which began with a church service last Sunday.
“The Government of Tonga endorsed its new Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, JNAP2, in May 2018. With this endorsement, the government acknowledges the importance of JNAP2 and its role in helping us prioritises, coordinate and collaborate on climate change and disaster risk actions throughout the nation,” Hon Poasi said.
“With guidance from the JNAP2 over ten years, 2018-2028, the government aims to significantly increase Tonga’s resilience to the impacts of climate change and enhance our management of disaster risks.”
The Minister also thanked development partners, and in particular the European Union (EU), Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Green Climate Fund, USAID and UNDP NAP-GSP for their financial support, and stressed that “the government plans to stimulate a stronger and better ‘whole-of-country’ approach to deliver climate change adaptation and Disaster Risk Management”.
Building on lessons learnt from the JNAP 1, JNAP 2 is the result of years of thorough consultations conducted with various stakeholders, which included communities, NGOs and numerous government line ministries.
Manu Manuofeta, Project Manager with MEIDECC added to the Ministers remarks.
“JNAP 2 is a major milestone document for the Department of Climate Change, the Government of Tonga, the European Union and GIZ Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (ACSE) programme. Together, these groups worked tirelessly over the past 3 years, across all layers of Tongan government and society, to bring this plan together,” he said.
The official launch of the JNAP 2 was marked by Hon. Poasi receiving a copy of the JNAP 2 document which will be made available for all stakeholders.
The event was a symbolic milestone for Tonga, as it acknowledged and signified the national efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
The event culminated with the Director of the Department of Climate Change Ms. Luisa Tui’aiftu Malolo delivering the closing remarks.
Ms Malalo closed the event by saying, “My department and our team are very proud of JNAP2. We have worked hard in the past 2-3 years and now look forward to working closely with all stakeholders to implement the plan in the most collaborative and effective ways possible, for the benefit of all Tongans.”