The Kingdom of Tonga is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean made up of 169 islands with an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 700,000 km2. Tonga’s ocean is famous for its high biodiversity and coral reefs. In 2015, the Tonga Cabinet decided to create a Marine Spatial Plan to sustainably manage the nation’s marine resources for future generations.
The Vava'u Ocean Initiative is a partnership between the Government of Tonga, the Vava'u Environmental Protection Association and the Waitt Institute established in 2017. The program's goals are to support fisheries management, sustainable ocean planning, and conserve biodiversity while allowing for sustainable economic development. The Initiative has three focal areas: supporting creation of a sustainable ocean plan through Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), supporting creation of Special Management Areas (SMAs) for community fisheries, and supporting scientific research.
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ocean protection committment
of Tongan territory is ocean
GOVERNANCE & WORK PLANNING
PLANNING & LEGAL DEVELOPMENT
Tonga government makes a decision to prepare a Marine Spatial Plan.
Technical working group Ocean 7 holds first meeting to lead development of the Tonga Ocean Plan.
MOU is signed between the Government of Tonga, Vava'u Environmental Protection Association and Waitt Institute to form the Vava'u Ocean Initiative.
Tongan government approved the Tonga Ocean Management Plan.
VAVA'U ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ASSOCIATION
The Vava’u Environmental Protection Association (VEPA) was started in May 2009 by a group of local leaders concerned with the pressing environmental conservation issues facing the islands of Vava’u. VEPA has four focus areas aimed at ensuring biodiversity and conservation, increasing knowledge exchange, and securing sustainable livelihoods.
"It is often said that Tonga is a small island nation, but we have a very vast ocean rich with marine resources. The ocean is our home, our identity and our culture and we must manage it to promote sustainable livelihoods, especially for future generations."
- Rosamond Carter Bing
CEO, Ministry of Land and Natural Resources.
SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL REPORTS