COP23 has been successful for Tonga: Paula Ma’u
By ILIESA TORA (Compliments of Deutsche Welle Academy/UNFCCC)
BONN, Germany – November 15: 6.50pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Tonga can go back home with a lot taken out of the COP23 here in Bonn, Germany.
Despite the fact that ‘Loss and Damage’ talks seemed to have hit a hard wall during the week because the big nations and Australia had made things difficult, the Head of the Tonga delegation Mr Paula Ma’u said the COP meeting has been successful for Tonga.
“We were able to attend all the meetings we were scheduled to attend, including the negotiations, the side events and the bi-laterals,” Mr Ma’u said here today.
“And we have been able to secure a funding for the Ministry of Internal Affair’s community projects targeted at building resilience within the local communities.
“That was achieved by Mr Samuela Pohiva who led the discussions on that.”
The Tongan delegation was also able to meet with donor agencies and funders, including the Green Climate Fund, UNDP and IUCN.
“It has been a successful COP meeting for us,” Mr Ma’u said.
“Although we were disappointed with the way the Loss and Damage talks went and how some of the aspects of the Paris Agreement has been progressing on the local front for us we are happy.
‘At the same time we were happy that we were able to have a Pacific country in Fiji leading the COP23 and we supported that plus the fact that we were able to use the Talanoa sessions, the Pacific way of dialogue.”
The high-level dialogue between the leaders of the respective governments started today, chaired by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama of Fiji as COP23 President.
Tonga’s country statement will be delivered tomorrow by Mr Ma’u.
Meanwhile, Mr Ma’u today presented the MACBIO report for Tonga at the IUCN side event here at the COP23.
He outlined the work that is being done to ensure that Tonga will be able to produce a policy for the Kingdom’s ocean management by 2020.
Mr Ma’u thanked the IUCN for their support at the event.
The event also featured speakers from Kiribati. Marshall Islands, University of the South Pacific and Fiji.
Former Kiribati leader, President Anote Tong also spoke at the event and urged the leaders to continue to find solutions that would help the Pacific make use of its ocean resources to its fullest.
- More on Tonga’s COP23 talks later
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