Nuku’alofa – June 5, 2019: 9.20am (Enviro News): Students from Tupou College and Takuilau College here on Tongatapu planted new mangrove seedlings in ‘Ahau, Hihifo yesterday to mark Environment Day.
Around 20 students turned up for the field trip organised by the Department of Environment as part of the 2019 World Environment Week.
Their trip also coincided with the program to remember World Environment Day, which is remembered on June 5 annually.
Mangroves specialist and Environment staff Hoifua ‘Aholahi led the field trip at the ‘Ahau site.
He explained the importance of having mangroves replanted and what the current project in ‘Ahau was focused on.
The students then took turns planting the new seedlings around the marked area.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General António Guterres has called on the world leaders and decision makers to take action now to help save our environment.
“World Environment Day highlights how much we all rely on nature and on our planet’s health,” Mr Guterres said.
“The quality of the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe — all depend on protecting the natural world.
“But the environment is facing unprecedented perils, caused by human activity.”
He said one million species are at risk of extinction.
“Oceans are under stress. Air pollution is claiming seven million lives every year and damaging children’s development. Many air pollutants also cause global warming,” he said.
“And climate change is an existential threat.
“In my recent visit to the South Pacific I saw first-hand the severe and worsening impacts of the global climate emergency.
“There is no time to lose. This is the battle of our lives.
We must win. And we can. Solutions exist.
“Tax pollution, not people. Stop subsidizing fossil fuels. Stop building new coal plants.
“People everywhere are demanding action. On World Environment Day, let us heed their call.”