Two Tongans awarded at Meteorology meet

The Lifetime Award for Netatua Pelesikoti Taufatofua. Photo: LISA WILLIAMS

Apia, Samoa – August 9, 2019: 1pm (Enviro News): Two Tongans were recipients of recognition awards at the inaugural Pacific Meteorological Council Awards here in Apia, Samoa on Thursday evening (August 8).

Ms Netatua Pelesikoti Taufatofua, former Director of the Climate Change Division at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) here in Samoa, and Mr Ofa Fa’anunu, Director of the Tonga Meteorological Services (Tonga MET) were awarded for their contributions to national and regional meteorology services. 

Dr Netatua, who was recently approved as a new member of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Scientific Advisory Panel, an elite group of 15 scientists who are experts on weather, climate and water, was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

She was recognised for her contributions to Pacific MET services over the years.

She had also served as a Director for the Department of Environment in Tonga.

Mr Fa’anunu was recipient of the Individual Contribution Award for his contribution to Tonga and the regional meteorological services.

Mr Ofa Fa’anunu, Director Tonga MET with his award in Apia on Thursday night. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

His achievement also includes being elected as President of the World Meteorological Organization Regional Association V (WMO RA V), covering Asia and the Pacific, becoming the first Tongan to hold the top position.

He is attending the 5th Pacific Meteorological Council meeting here in Apia, leading Tonga’s delegation.

In accepting the award Mr Fa’anunu said he is honoured to have been selected and thanked all staff at Tonga MET, the Ministry of MEIDECC, regional meteorologists and family for their support and assistance.

“I am honored to receive this award but I share it with all the brave men and women at the Tonga Meteorological Service who are committed to 24/7 to ensure the safety and security of our people against the elements of nature. It is testimony of their work which I have had the great honour to lead,” Mr Fa’anunu said.

“It gives me the urge to keep doing what we are doing for Tonga and the region, in improving MET services to meet the needs of our people.”

The award presentation will now become part of the PMC meetings.

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