MSP Team brief Tongatapu District Officers

Ms Ta’hirih Hokafonu explaining a point while present the MSP project to district officers earlier today at the Environment Conference room in Nuku’alofa. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

Nuku’alofa – February 6, 2019: 2.10pm (Enviro News): District Officers from around Tongatapu were today briefed on the Marine Spatial Planning and the process that is currently being followed.

Members of the MSP – Tonga Ocean 7 team briefed the officers at the Department of Environment’s conference room.

Ministry of Environment’s Chief Executive Officer Paula Ma’u chaired the meeting.

Mr Ma’u told the officers and members of the MSP Consultation team that the feedback from members of the community is important as the initial steps of drafting the legislation and the management plan begins.

District officers at the MSP meeting earlier today. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

The Principal Assistant Secretary and Head of the Islands and Ocean Ecosystem Division at the Department of Environment, Ms Ta’hirih Hokafonu briefed the officers on what the MSP is and the process that is now being followed.

The MSP will basically become the Tonga Ocean Plan – which will manage the use of Tonga’s ocean and its resources.

District Officers present expressed their support for the MSP and government’s plans.

The MSP consultation process will resume here on Tongatapu in March.

The consultation team will also visit the two Niua’s before the second round of consultation begins in July.

That second round will involve the team taking the draft legislation to members of the communities around the Kingdom.

Acting Director of Environment Ms Mafile’o Masi thanking the district officers after the meeting earlier this morning. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

Once approved the management plan is expected to be in force from 2020 onwards.

A number of government ministries have partnered in this important work including the Ministry of MEIDECC, Fisheries, Lands and Survey, Tourism, the Marine Department and Ports Authority.

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