Tonga reports at Canada meeting

Tonga’s delegation at the Canada meetings (from left) Mrs Atelaite Lupe Matoto and Mrs Ta’hirih Fifita Hokafonu. Photo: ENVIRO TONGA

Nuku’alofa – December 11, 2019: 10am (Enviro News): Tonga was able to report on its Sixth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity at meetings held in Canada during the last week of November.

Director Environment Mrs Atelaite Lupe Matoto and the Principal Biodiversity Officer Mrs Ta’hirih Fifita Hokafonu attended the meetings.

Tonga participated from the Pacific in the first week on The Ad Hoc Open-ended Inter-Sessional Working Group on Article 8(j) in Montreal, Canada.

Tonga also attended the second meeting called the Twenty-third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, which ran until November 9.

Pacific countries represented were Tonga, Cook Island, Palau and Solomon.

Article 25 of the Convention on Biological Diversity establishes an open-ended intergovernmental scientific advisory body known as the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to provide the Conference of the Parties (COP) and, as appropriate, its other subsidiary bodies, with timely advice relating to the implementation of the Convention.

Tonga and other Pacific Island delegates at the Canada meeting. Photo: ENVIRO TONGA

As a subsidiary body of the COP, SBSTTA is to report regularly to the COP on all aspects of its work. Multidisciplinary and open to participation by all Parties, SBSTTA comprises government representatives competent in the relevant field of expertise.

The Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions has met ten times since its establishment in 1998 and has some notable achievements.

In particular, the Working Group has raised the profile of indigenous peoples and local community issues throughout the Convention process.

It has successfully developed and monitored the implementation of the work programme on Article 8(j) and related provisions and delivered several guidelines and other tools.

The meeting in Canada discussed the following items:

  • Progress Towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 18 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020,
  • In-Depth Dialogue: “The Contributions of the Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and Cultural Diversity to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”.
  • Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
  • Possible Elements of Work on the Links Between Nature and Culture in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Recommendations of The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

The Tonga 6NR Committee has met throughout the year and worked on reports from different sectors.

The implementation of sector programs, which focused on ensuring that Tonga met its commitments, have been ongoing also through 2019.

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