National Climate Change Donor Roundtable held in Tonga

///National Climate Change Donor Roundtable held in Tonga
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National Climate Change Donor Roundtable held in Tonga

PRESS RELEASE

Tonga, October 18, 2018 – The Department of Climate Change in cooperation with EU-GIZ ACSE and GCF Readiness Programme called into session its second installment of the National Climate Change Donor Roundtable, discussing Climate Change Initiatives in Tonga and its linkages to national, regional and international policy instruments as well as highlighting the close out of Joint National Action Plan 2010 -2015 (JNAP 1) and ushering in the implementation phase of JNAP 2018-2028 (JNAP 2).  

The main objective of the meeting was emphasizing Tonga’s desire to further enhance and forge sustainable partnerships with its current and potential donor partners in transitioning implementation from JNAP I to JNAP II.

Welcoming regional and offshore delegates to the event was Minister of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change & Communications (MEIDECC), Honorable Poasi Tei – who reiterated the message of enhanced partnerships in support of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.

“As was the case in 2012, and again here today, Tonga’s Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management 2018 – Tonga’s JNAP II – is the               showpiece of this forum. Tonga’s JNAP was the first of it’s kind in the Pacific if not the world in which we saw the merger of two disciplines similar in nature – those being Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management. “

“The JNAP is considered Tonga’s ‘Flagship’ instrument in regard to the implementation of national climate change priorities across all sectors and is viewed as the most viable entry point for all climate related assistance to Tonga.”

“It is against this backdrop that we again arrive at this juncture, not only to showcase the lessons learned from JNAP I, and the marked improvements and enhancements in JNAP II, but to allow for more meaningful, open, and in-depth dialogue in regard to the forward momentum necessary for ensuring that implementation of JNAP II activities, will bring about the requisite changes for safeguarding Tonga’s social, economic, and environmental aspirations through a climate resilient and low-emission development pathway.”

“This forum also presents the opportunity for Tonga to showcase further developments since JNAP I. These include the development of Tonga’s NDC of 2015, Climate Change Policy 2016, the establishment and roll out of Tonga’s Climate Change Trust Fund in 2017, and culminating in Tonga’s JNAP II 2018-2028. All of which are fully aligned and support Tonga’s Strategic Development Framework 2015 – 2025. “

The session began with the Department of Climate Change Director Lu’isa Tu’i’afitu Malolo presenting by providing an overview of the important projects underway in Tonga through ways of national climate action planning to implementation. Following which, ACSE Project Coordinator Manu Manuofetoa presented on the development of JNAP 2 and its links to national, regional, international policy instruments.

Sione Fulivai, Principal Financial Analyst of the Department of Climate Change provided the guests with a stocktake of Climate Change Initiatives. Dr. Netatua Pelesikoti – Taufatofua presented on the Green Climate Fund Tonga Country Programme with additional commentary on the No – Objection Procedure and its linkages to the JNAP 2. Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF) Coordinator Feleti Fa’otusia provided a presentation on the establishment and management of the CCTF. Consultants to the CCTF Sela Bloomfield will further elaborate on the Climate Trust Fund Bill and closing off presentations was Solomone Latu also a consultant to CCTF discussing Investment Policy and Resource mobilization.

These presentations will highlight the essential role of the Department of Climate Change to national sustainable development and the key priorities as outlined in the revised Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management 2 (JNAP 2). They will also highlight needs and gaps in capacity, resources and funding.  These presentations were followed by interactive sessions between the presenters with the donors and partners.

Honorable Poasi Tei pointed out that the roundtable was an “important platform as it officially marks the transition from implementation under the JNAP 1 umbrella toward further and forward progress under the 10 year programme that is JNAP 2. This platform offers great insight into the mechanics of climate change in Tonga,        and also allows for open and in-depth dialogue that will focus on potential opportunities, partnerships, and synergies toward the transformational changes we have been advocating in years past by maximizing on investment in Tonga’s climate resilient – low carbon development pathway that is the JNAP II. “

The second day will be dedicated for bi-lateral meetings between the donors and representatives of the Department of Climate Change.