Environment & Climate Change


The Vision of His Majesty's Government National Strategic Planning Framework and beyond is to achieve a high standard of living and quality of life for both men and women, and also sustainability of development, economically, environmentally, culturally and politically. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change programmes and objectives, through its Corporate Plans, are managed and implemented to support the Government's National Priorities.The Ministry's core functions provides the fundamental basis for the achievement of high standard of living and quality of life for the people of Tonga at present and into the next generation, through sustaining the integrity of the ecosystems of Tonga to support life and livelihoods.

The Ministry of Environment & Climate Change (MECC) Corporate Plans reflects the commitment of the Ministry to good governance at the Ministerial level by improving the efficiency of administration, providing a better career path and opportunities for staff, better coordination of our services to the public and our advice to Government on environmental and climate change issues and statutes, regional and international obligations, and close collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders to achieve its mission.

MECC's mandate is to ensure the protection and proper management of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development.

The MECC operates four programmes:

  • Technical & Sustainable Development
  • Conservation
  • Climate Change and
  • Energy.All programmes contribute to achieving its common vision of "Sustainable development for Tonga's present and future generations through coordinated environmental management and protection, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

MECC's Key Result Areas (KRAs) represent areas in which it plans and delivers concrete and tangible outputs. The KRAs emerge from MECC's mission and mandate to:

Ensure customer satisfaction;
Ensure financial support;Provide for learning & growth;
Streamline internal business;
Ensure environmental governance;
Promote climate change resilience;
Report on State of Environment;
Maintain an active role in the development and subsequent implementation of multi-lateral environmental agreements; and
Promote conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.


1. Ensure customer satisfaction

  • To provide high level of environmental services and performance to ensure customer satisfaction
  • To ensure customer involvement from planning process to implementation
  • Increased and enhanced public awareness, education and engagement

2. Financial Support

Cost efficiency
Harmonised and effective resource management / sharing
Maximise revenue collection services
Maximise sourcing of and collaboration with external donors
Budget planning and asset management

3. Provide for Learning & Growth

Human Resource Capacity Building
Strengthen communication strategy
Equipment / Asset Development Plan
Growth in services, including through outsourcing and extending networks

4. Streamline Internal Business

Streamlining the balance of project resources and performance
Clear internal Ministerial structure
Clear structure for modelling MECC activities in relation to working with other government ministries and the external environment

5. Environmental Governance

Mainstream environmental considerations, sustainable resource utilization and development practices
Develop and review of environmental plans, policies and legal framework
Develop and meet requirements of international and multilateral agreements

6. Climate Change Resilience

Promote and implement effective measures to adapt to climate change impacts
Promote and implement effective measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions

7. State of Environment

Identification and status of existing ecosystems
Species stock take
To identify sources of human and natural impacts
To ensure continuity of SOE measures
Report on State of Environment
Facilitate, conduct and participate in environmental research and reporting

8. Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

To provide procedural guidelines for adhering to obligations
To ensure sustainability of programme activities and resources
To establish new programmes under existing MEA or new MEA
To secure co-partnership requirements
To ensure potential mainstreaming with other agreements

9. Conservation

To promote conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources
To provide Resource Rehabilitation Management
To implement NBSAP
To implement National Biosafety Framework
To implement Fanga'uta Lagoon Management Plan


Hon. Siaosi 'Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni -  Minister for Environment and Climate Change

MR. Paula Pouvalu Ma'u - CEO for Environment and Climate Change



Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment and Climate Change, Communication [MEIDECC]


P.O.BOX 1380 | Level 2, O.G Sanft Building | Nuku'alofa | TONGA.

Phone: +676 28 170 | Fax: +676 24 861

Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | Website : www.mic.gov.to |

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Support for assessing climate change impacts in Tonga

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15 October 2010 Customised software for assessing the effects of climate change was demonstrated to government technical staff in Tonga recently.

The climate modelling software is being provided through the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)/ German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) Programme on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region (ACCPIR).

A three-day (4-6 October) training session on using the TongaSimCLIM software was held at the Forestry Division in Tongatapu for technical officers from the Ministries of Environment and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food, Forests and Fisheries, Lands, Survey and Natural Resources and the Meteorology Department. The training focused on software application to examine and assess impacts of climate variability and change in Tonga. Participants were also introduced to a customised version of PlantGro 4.0, which can be used to explore possible alternative crops and trees for islands in Tonga. The training was conducted by CLIMsystems, the developer of TongaSimCLIM.

CLIMystems said that the software has been customised for use by Tonga with a local, very high resolution (30 metre), digital elevation model for the islands of Tongatapu, Vava'u, Ha'apai and Niuatoputapu. Also available are other data specifically collected for application in the island kingdom. The high resolution TongaSimCLIM includes 21 general circulation models - tools for generating and analysing various climate change scenarios including extreme weather events and running rainwater tank simulations. The latter showed that although annual precipitation is projected to increase in Tongatapu as a result of climate change, the dry period is actually expected to get drier

The TongaSimCLIM sea-level rise simulation is the only climate impact assessment tool of its kind that accounts for local trends in sea-level rise in combination with vertical land movements, over a period of time, in looking at potential scenarios. The Tonga tidal station shows a 9.21 mm sea-level rise a year, whilst satellite data records indicate a rise of 6.29 mm a year. This has led to the conclusion that the area around the tidal station is sinking at a rate of 2.92 mm per year. Projections generated under a high climate sensitivity scenario and worse case story line for global greenhouse gas emissions (A1F1) show a possible sea-level rise of 952 mm for Tongatapu by the year 2100. The worst case from the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the world is 590 mm. The fact that the area is slowly sinking worsens the real rate of sea-level rise. It is important to note that this is just one scenario for possible sea-level change and that the data record is not very long.

However, sea-level rise is not the most critical concern for the reefs of Tonga. In a much shorter time period, rising sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification are likely to impact on the health and vitality of the fringing reef. Reef degradation will affect the productivity of coastal fisheries and marine ecosystems.

Deputy Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Forests and Fisheries, Mr Tevita Faka'osi, commended the training saying that it also facilitated better understanding of the science behind climate change.

The SPC/GTZ ACCPIR programme is supporting Tonga in the development of effective land use planning processes, adaptation strategies, and supporting databases to help the land-based sector better cope with climate change.

For more information please contact the SPC Land Resources Division helpdesk: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa, 2010

Last Updated ( Monday, 23 May 2011 12:15 )
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