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

 

Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>

ALSO:

World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>

ALSO:

Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news