Nuku’alofa – May 25, 2021: 2.10pm (Enviro News): Some island communities in Vava’u now have chicken coops to help them with their food sources and income generating projects.
This has been made possible through funding from the Strengthening Protected Area Management (SPAM) program and supported by the Vava’u Environmental Protection Association.
Islands and Oceans Ecosystem division head Ta’hirih Hokafonu said protected areas are being developed and implemented at both Government through Ocean Management Areas and community management through Special Management Areas (SMAs) here in Tonga.
The communities that have been selected to have the chicken coops are all involved in the SMAs program.
With the implementation of protected areas increasing, communities and fishers feel that their fishing grounds are restricted and its essential that other programs be developed and implemented to provide livelihood and economic benefits.
During November 2020, consultations were undertaken by the Project Management Unit, Department of Environment (MEIDECC) for the Strengthening Protected Area Management (SPAM) program and supported by the Vava’u Environmental Protection Association. The findings of these consultations showed a range of livelihood and economic activities selected by community and stakeholders including fisheries activities for aquaculture and livestock and agriculture programs including chicken coops.
In 2020 and in response to the current COVID situation the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Foods initiated increasing chicken coops and donating chicks to community households for food security. The pilot livelihood program under the SPAM project will further this activity to the outer island communities who are extremely reliant upon the fishing and marine resources of the uninhabited outer islands.
The selected islands are Otea, Taunga, Matamaka and ‘Ovaka.
The team from the Environment Department and Vepa Vava’u were on hand on all the islands to oversee the construction of the chicken coops by members of the different communities.
A launch was held in ‘Ovaka at the weekend.
The chief guests there was Lopaukamea (Spokesperson for the island). There were about 50 participants at the launching.