Mangroves listing being done

Mangroves specialist Hoifu’a ‘Aholahi (right) explains the work done by the team. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

Nuku’alofa – May 12, 2020: 10.15am (Enviro News): There is a need to address land issues affecting mangroves plantations around the Kingdom, to ensure that mangroves are protected.

That is one of the recommendations given by the Terrestrial and Mangroves team that conducted surveys in line with efforts to list local mangroves under the Red Listing program at the Department of Enviroment’s knowledge sharing event in Nuku’alofa on April 24.

Red Listing is done by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Department of Environment knowledge sharing session was led by the Terrestrial team under the Islands and Oceans Ecosystems division, mainly to share results on the RLE risk assessment survey of three mangroves sites done (Sopu, Nukuhetulu and Nukunukumotu) to determine the status of the mangroves ecosystems.

The team said that it is apparent from the sites that the loss of mangroves over the course of time from 2005-2016 map has varied from 10% mangroves loss to 50%. This has seen the risks jump from critical, vulnerable and to endangered.

Presentation by the team

Recommendations from the team includes the need to upscale the RLE assessment to all mangroves in Tongatapu and to outer islands; the need to address land issues for the conservation of mangroves forest; ongoing monitoring for the mangroves ecosystems and extend to other ecosystems in the country.

Environment Director Lupe Matoto said the knowledge sharing was important as there is a need to ensure the protection of livelihoods and food security in which such assessments inform that status.

And also inform decision makers on actions suitable for protection and rehabilitation of these ecosystems.

“We do this so that all Environment staff and management are on par with results of surveys and monitoring carried out so that we are on one page,” she added.

Mangroves specialist Hoifu’a ‘Aholahi said it is important that issues surrounding the proper management of mangroves be looked at.

“That is important, things like land issues, and identifying the reasons we are losing mangroves also,” he said.

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