The Legislative Assembly of Tonga’s Standing Committee on Climate Change and the Environment continues to support the Ministry of Land, Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources and its annual Environment Week. This year’s theme is: “Tonga! Raise your voice! Climate Change is changing”.

On Tuesday this week, May 27th, Semisi Sika, Chairman of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Climate Change and the Environment sponsored some of the activities for Environment Week and presented a cheque of TOP$2,000 to the Ministry. This is the second consecutive year he has sponsored activities for Environment Week. The cheque was received by Mr. Tukia Lepa, Chief Environment Officer, on behalf of the Ministry. The fund will assist the Ministry in implementing the activities of Environment week, which is to be observed nationally from May 31 – June 6. The week’s activities are an all-inclusive program for all, including parliamentarians, schools, international donors and NGOs.

The official opening address for this week’s Environment week will also be delivered by the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Saturday May 31st.

The Chairman and all members of the Committee are aware that Tonga’s changing climate will impact many livelihoods such as coastal erosion due to sea level rises and more destructive natural disasters. Earlier this year, some of the members of the Committee had an opportunity to visit Ha’apai and witness the devastating impacts of Tropical Cyclone Ian. As such, the Standing Committee hopes to support more, the work of the Ministry and all stakeholders in pushing Climate Change awareness and addressing these issues through effective policies and legislation. The Chairman states, “Tonga is very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and we can witness it firsthand. It’s time to act now!”.

There are eight members of the Standing Committee. They are Hon. Semisi Sika (Chairman), Lord Fakafanua (Lord Speaker), Lord Tu’iha’ateiho (Deputy Speaker), Lord Vaea, Lord Ma’afu, Lord Tu’ilakepa, Hon. Fe’aomoeata Vakata and Hon. Falisi Tupou.

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