World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Biodiversity in Vava'u, Tonga under the microscope

Much more will be known about the plants and animals of the Vava'u archipelago in Tonga by the end of February, after the most ambitious study ever undertaken in the island group.

"A team of experienced biologists, which includes several Tongan specialists, will participate in this major expedition to conduct rapid biodiversity and ecological assessments (BIORAP) of both land and marine sites throughout the archipelago," said Ms. Lupe Matoto of the Department of Environment.

The expedition will be a unique collaboration between the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Waitt Foundation.

The main objective is to identify sites within the archipelago that have high conservation value and could be added to Tonga's protected area network. The survey will also make a major contribution to the conservation of Tonga's ecosystems, endemic and native species, as well as land and seascapes.

The project has been formulated to contribute to Tonga's protected area system, and provide a practical demonstration of its commitment to the Convention for Biological Diversity's Island Biodiversity Programme of Work.

"What this study will do is provide the Government of Tonga, resource owners and communities with the information needed so they can establish ways to protect and manage their biodiversity and ecosystems," said Mr. Bruce Jefferies, SPREP's Terrestrial and Ecosystems Management Officer.

"The resource owners and communities will be the key groups to make decisions and carry out actions to protect the biodiversity of Tonga, and having up-to-date, readily accessible and scientific information will help their decision making."

The Waitt Foundation is making available its flagship research vessel, a 164-foot expedition ship that was originally built in Australia as a hydrographic survey vessel, but has since been refitted as a craft with capabilities to perform marine focused scientific surveys.

"We're really pleased to have such strong support and interest from all partners involved in this venture and we are looking forward to the outcomes."

The BIORAP will take place in Tonga from 13 to 28 February 2014.

About the partners:

The Ministry of Lands, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources (MLECCNR) is the Government of Tonga's principal natural resource planning and management agency. The Ministry's programmes and objectives are managed and implemented to support the Government's National Priorities. The Ministry's mandate is to ensure the protection and proper management of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development for Tonga's present and future generations, through coordinated environmental management and protection, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

SPREP is a regional, intergovernmental organisation comprising 25 members, consisting of 21 Pacific Island Countries and Territories and five developed countries with direct interests in the Pacific region. SPREP aims to promote cooperation in the Pacific islands region and to provide assistance in order to protect and improve the Pacific environment and to ensure sustainable development for present and future generations.

The Waitt Foundation is based in San Diego, USA, and supports a variety of national and international programmes with a primary focus on ocean conservation. By raising global awareness through scientific research, education, media, social and policy change, their goal is to reverse the current decline of ocean life while inspiring humanity to make informed choices that contribute to a healthy marine ecosystem.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Snap Election In Britain

The election call is entirely opportunistic and self-serving and will – regardless of the outcome – put Britain in a worse negotiating position for managing its Brexit. More>>

Turkey: Observers Say Erdogan’s Constitutional Referendum Flawed

Lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms created unlevel playing field in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, international observers say. More>>

ALSO:

Westminster: NZ PM Condemns London Attack

“London is a place many thousands of New Zealanders have visited and called home, and where many more have friends and family based, so this attack feels very close to home,” Mr English says. More>>

ALSO:

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>

Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news