Department of Environment

Turtle found dead in Tonga’s Fangaloto lagoon

According to the department’s Communications Officer, Iliesa Tora, the other turtle is injured.

“We found one turtle injured by a possible stone thrown on its shell or something heavy and dangerous...having a chance to still live.”

“Sadly the second one has gone on...found dead on the lake side. Taking the live one to Fisheries for treatment before possible release back into the sea,” Tora said.

Earlier this week, the department released 20 turtles after the public raised concerns about the state of the lagoon.

Tonga’s Environment Department monitors four turtles from Fangaloto

Communications Officer, Iliesa Tora said, “Efforts being made to save the turtles and ensure they are ready for the return to their natural habitat.”

There is concern about the state of the lagoon after a member of the public posted photos of dead and sick turtles on social media yesterday (Wednesday).

Tora confirmed that a team from the Environment Department visited the site and collected water samples to be tested.

Four turtles are left in the lake opposite the New Zealand High Commission residence in Fangaloto.

Tonga continues with mangrove planting project

The department’s Terrestrial team is continuing with planting of mangroves and nurturing of seedlings at the nursery.

Communication Officer, Iliesa Tora said they are grateful to the ILAM and Ridge to Reef for the partnership.

He added “Great work programme for 2021 as the work to ensure our mangroves are saved and maintained continues.”

Meanwhile, the Director and Management of the Environment Department met today to finalize work plans for 2021.

The plans will be presented at the Ministry of MEIDECC on 21 January, 2021.


Tonga’s Department of Environment plans more projects for 2021

Senior management and staff of the department met this morning to elect new social committee members that would facilitate the tasks and projects.

The department has elected Peti Veikoso as the new President.

The Director, Managers and staff participated in the election and organised plans for the year.

Veikoso replaces Rhonda Hufanga, who was the president of the committee last year.

Tonga’s Department of Environment urges public to refrain from littering

The department’s communications officer, Iliesa Tora posted up pictures on their Facebook page of rubbish along the area and stating, “This is the biggest problem in Tonga.”

“Rubbish is thrown everywhere at the popular picnic spot.”

“Plastic bags, bottles, juice cans and diapers are seen along the beach,” he posted.

The post received many reactions from the public, most of them also shared similar concerns.


Tonga’s Environment Department values hard work of staff

Director, Atelaite Lupe Matoto met with staff this morning before beginning the new work year.

She thanked the staff and managers for the successful 2020 work year and stressed the importance of starting on the go again this year.

The department is also keen to work with the public this year.


Tonga’s environment department rolls out 2020 work plans

The management staff and heads of divisions met Wednesday to discuss new plans for the year 2020.

Chaired by Director, Atelaite Lupe Matoto, the 'Retreat and Planning' meeting looked at the department's different projects and programme for the year, plus budgets allocated for the different projects and programs.

The department is under the Ministry of MEIDECC and is tasked with managing and policing Tonga's environment, in partnership with all government, non-government, community and overseas stakeholders and partners.


Environment Department engages Tongans in science programme training

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.