Tonga presents at UNDP and IRENA events here at COP23
By ILIESA TORA (Compliments of Deutsche Welle Academy/UNFCCC)
BONN, Germany – November 13: 2.40pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Tonga’s programs on Climate Resilience and Sustainability plus Renewable Energy were presented at two different side events here at the COP23 in Bonn today.
The two issues are critical parts of discussions that are happening here at the Bonn Zone.
The Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tonga, Mr Samuela Pohiva presented on the Resilience and Risk-Informing Development of Climate Action in the Pacific, hosted by the UNDP Pacific Risk Resilience Programme (PRRP).
Mr Pohiva was part of the panel that presented at the event.
He told the participants, including COP23 President and Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that Toga had used risk-informing development within its national development plans, especially in the campaign to ensure that Tongans are resilient and able to sustain themselves in the face of growing challenges brought about by climate change.
“We have incorporated that into our development framework and we are taking a whole of country approach, with a top-down, and bottom-up aproach,” Mr Pohiva told the participants.
“We believe this is working and we are continuing to monitor and see how things go.”
Mr Pohiva added that the Tongan government wants to use what is available locally and then work with funders and overseas donors on how best funding can be secured to help the setting up of projects that would help communities be resilient in the face of climate change.
Tonga’s renewable energy project was also presented at the IRENA side-event.
Mr Kakau Moeloa Foliaki told the IRENA event that Tonga was the first country in the Pacific that the international renewenable energy organisation worked with.
“And I am glad to say that we are moving on with our renewable energy projects and the aim to have 50/50 renewable energy by 2020,” he said.
He told the meeting that Tonga relies heavily on fossil fuel, which is used mainly in the Kingdom’s power supply system and transport.
And he also informed the meeting that Tonga is the first country in the world to start using solar-energy powered tuk-tuk cars.
“We are working with a German company in this project and we can see that it is working. This is a pilot project and if everything works out well then we will certainly replicate it elsewhere,” he added.
The Tonga delegation, led by the Chief Executive Officer of Climate Change (MEIDECC), Mr Paula Ma’u has been busy throughout the COP23, attending different dialogues, side events and negotiations.
Mr Ma’u said the meetings have been fruitful and exciting.
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