NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA – A consultation workshop held today will help develop a project proposal to address climate change risk priorities identified in the Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management.
“All lives and livelihoods will be significantly affected by climate change,” said Lord Ma'afu, Minister for Lands, Environment, Climate Change & Natural Resources, at the opening of today’s workshop. Lord Ma’afu emphasized Tonga’s vulnerability to natural hazards and climate related risks, adding that the program will help the people of Tonga prepare for and protect themselves against climate change.
Attended by senior government officials, the private sector and civil society representatives, the workshop updated stakeholders about the status of the project being prepared to help Tonga manage climate related events. A technical assistance team from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is helping Tonga formulate and implement its Strategic Program for Climate Resilience.
“The workshop is an opportunity for us to receive important feedback from participants, which will be key in developing a strong project design and will facilitate implementation,” said Maria Paniagua, ADB Project Team leader.
The Strategic Program for Climate Resistance is a pilot program under the Climate Investment Fund (CIF), a multi-donor Trust Fund. In Tonga, the CIF is financed by ADB. Tonga is one of only three countries in the Pacific Islands selected for the pilot program and was chosen for its high level of vulnerability to climate hazards and risks.
Tonga is the recipient of $57 million in loans, $37 million in grants and $20 million in technical assistance since joining ADB in 1972.