To raise awareness and combat climate change, land erosion, and flooding in Tonga, the Department of Climate Change and Tonga’s Second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) has set a goal to plant one million trees by the end of 2023.
The tree planting scheme collaborates with the villages, schools, ex-student associations, churches, and other government ministries from the Western District that are low-land areas susceptible to land erosion and flooding. Joining these recent activities were the Director and Deputy Director for the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication (MEIDECC), Luisa Tuiafitu Malolo, Department of Environment, Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC) and locals of the western district.
The department and primary schools in the western district have planted over 500 trees combined. And another 300 trees were planted by Halaóvave Government Primary School in the school compound with assistance from the Department of Climate Change.
In December 2020, Tonga submitted its second NDC and ambitious targets for mitigation and adaptation. One of its cross-cutting targets is the establishment of a forest inventory as a condition to identify a greenhouse gas emission target for Tonga’s Third NDC in 2025. The initiative promotes Sustainable Tourism through the tree planting scheme that attracts Eco-Tourism and Green travelers through revitalizing near-extinct trees and the declaration of ‘Eua Island as a National Park. These activities are aligned with Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 15 in promoting well-being for all ages through open partnerships with the church and local community groups. The Kingdom has been working on protecting, restoring, and promoting sustainable forest management and halting land degradation. This effort has supported the ecosystem and helped strengthen the country’s rainforests. The focus is on ensuring the responsible and long-term use of forest resources.
The NDC directly impacts Sustainable Tourism by promoting eco-tourism as an alternative to conventional mass tourism, promoting environmental protection practices, and minimizing the negative impact on the environment and local culture.
Ecotourism encompasses various forms of responsible tourism, including ecotourism through community-based sustainable tourism development. And through the tree planting scheme, the Tourism sector will benefit in promoting ecotourism, highlighting the importance of the NDC to the sustainability of national flowers and near extinct plants valuable to the Tongan household and tourism sector.
Source: Tonga Ministry of Tourism
Photo Credits: Matangi Tonga Online