Environment Department engages Tongans in science programme training

More than ten members of the public were part of a training organized by the Department of Environment on how to survey, collect and monitor and seawater sources as part of the Citizen Science program.

The weeklong training led by Marine Team rep, Penikoni Aleaaamotua ended at the Kolomotu’a Free Wesleyan Church today.

Participants were taken through the basics over three days, involving both theory and practical learning.

Aleaamotua said the training was a way of building capacities within communities and helping them understand what they can do to help themselves.

“These are basics on how to survey, collect and monitor samples of water and the sea water or marine environment,” he said.

“We took them through the steps, what they need to know and what they need to do. Then we took them out to do practical sessions and then come back the last day to input data and get information from the data collected so that they know what type of bacteria or species are present in the water sources around them, be it land water source or the open sea around them.”

The training was also aimed at helping the citizens understand the processes and learning how they may be able to do things themselves.

Tonga National Youth Congress’ Mausa Halahala, who was one of the participants, said the training was very helpful.

“This is great to get some training on this simple steps and processes that we can help with in our own communities,” he said.

“Grateful for the opportunity to learn and get this practical training.”

The participants were awarded with certificates at the end of the training by Principal Dioversity Officer and Head of Islands and Ocean Ecosystems Division, Ta’hirih Hokafonu.

She encouraged the participants to go out and make use the knowledge they had acquired during the week.