Climate Change

200 Kauri pine trees planted in fight against climate change in Haveluliku

A total of 50 youths assisted in planting the seedlings contributed by MODRI Tonga, as part of the campaign to fight against climate change.

Tongatapu Field Project Officer Tiofilusi Fa’aoa said the project is expected to improve forest management, while piloting an integrated agro-ecosystem approach to rehabilitate degraded landscapes.

The Kauri pine trees, also known as the ‘Agathis robusta’ is a coniferous tree- a long-lived evergreen conifer that grows straight and tall to reach a height of 25-30 metres.

Tonga's King appeals to UN for greater protection from risks to peace

King Tupou VI thanked the Secretary General Antonio Guterres for his inaugural visit to the Pacific in May, to understand the climate crisis up close.

He commended the UN session's four priorities of; peace and security especially conflict prevention; stronger action on climate change; accentuating human rights for women and young people, and boosting the Sustainable Development Goals.

The King also expressed his gratitude for a more inclusive attitude by the UN towards small island states strengthening their voices.

Greta Thunberg: 'Leaders failed us on climate change'

"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words," she told a UN climate summit in New York.

About 60 world leaders are taking part in the one-day meeting organised by UN Secretary General António Guterres.

He earlier said countries could only speak at the summit if they came with action plans to cut carbon emissions.

US President Donald Trump, a climate change sceptic, had not been expected at the meeting - but he was briefly spotted in the audience.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces $150m Pacific climate funding

Ms Ardern made the announcement in Tuvalu, where she is attending the 18-nation Pacific Islands Forum which starts today.

She said the government was ring-fencing half of its global commitment to climate change-related development, to ensure it went to the Pacific.

The funding will go towards providing infrastructure such as water tanks, better tools for dealing with droughts, floods and coastal inundation, as well as further climate hazard mapping and risk planning.

Australia says its committed to addressing climate change

Last week a number of Pacific nations signed a declaration calling for greater action against what they called a "Climate Crisis" and an end to coal mining.

Palau's President Tommy Remengesau Junior also made a plea for Australia to take further climate action and the environmental NGO Greenpeace said the country should step aside from engaging in the region, if it wasn't going to change its policies around coal and energy.

World Bank to prioritise climate change resilience in Pacific

Its vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, Victoria Kwakwa, was in Tonga last week for talks.

Ms Kwakwa said the World Bank was working closely within Australia's Step Up and New Zealand's Pacific Reset programmes.

"We've been working on several things including supporting countries to strengthen their climate change resilience, working to support policy reforms to build their economic resilience and we're also working together on the connectivity agenda," Ms Kwakwa said.

"As you know, this region is very remote, even compared to other small island states."

Taking the message to Tonga

Staff from the University of Otago and Otago Museum have been visiting schools in Tonga during a 10-day visit, based on the museum's popular "Far From Frozen'' travelling exhibition, museum visitor experience and science engagement director Craig Grant said yesterday.

The trip was "going great'' and school pupils had been "very receptive'', also enjoying some of the technology - such as virtual reality headsets - offered with the exhibition.

Call for bold move by Australia to improve Pacific relationship

But observers said no substantial change is expected for Australia's engagement in the region after the Coalition's surprise win at the weekend.

Shane McLeod of the Australian think-tank, the Lowy Institute, said Australia's so-called Pacific step up, a suite of policies and funding initiatives brought in in 2017, will likely continue.

But he said with losses on the hard right, there may be more room for the government to manoeuvre on climate change.

Pacific leaders call for urgent global action to reverse climate change

Following a high-level political dialogue with the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres in Suva, the leaders issued a statement saying climate change is the ‘single biggest threat to our Blue Pacific region.”

Forum Chair and Nauru President, Baron Waqa read the statement on behalf of the leaders.

The Pacific leaders said all countries must take decisive and transformative action to reduce global emissions and ensure at scale mitigation and adaptation support for those countries that need it.

UN head to mobilise world around Pacific climate needs

Antonio Guterres attended a community roundtable event in Auckland Monday, as he kicked off his Pacific tour.

He departs for Fiji on Tuesday before heading to Tuvalu and Vanuatu to complete his regional tour.

Mr Guterres said the Pacific islands were the first victims of climate change.

"Not only some of them because of the rising level of water represents an existential threat, some might disappear, but also because of course climate change brings with it a lot of negative consequences," he said.