Story | 18 Apr, 2024

TNYC enhances Tonga's coastal resilience with NbS

The Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC) Kiwa Initiative project is using Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to protect Tonga's coastal environments and strengthen climate resilience.

Climate change is a major threat to Tonga, but TNYC is fighting back with cost-effective and sustainable NbS practices. Their work is making a difference in Tonga, and it is an important example of how NbS can address the challenges of climate change.

TNYC is working at four sites in Tonga: Mo'ungalafa, Ano Hehea, Sopu, and Lokupo. At these locations, they will be planting mangroves to combat coastal erosion, establish marine protected areas to preserve biodiversity, and promote sustainable fishing practices to ensure long-term ecological balance.

The TNYC Kiwa Initiative project helps local youth groups with environmental activities like conserving species, eliminating harmful species, and promoting NbS. Through these efforts, the project aims to update Tonga's environmental laws to address climate change impacts and support the local communities and their relationship with the environment.

One of the key aspects of the TNYC Kiwa Initiative is its support for local communities by implementing 10 measures aimed at preventing poaching of local flora and fauna at each project sites. These measures will then influence policy and regulation changes to be made at a national level that will positively impact on reserves and parks at the grassroots. At the ecosystem level, the project aims to implement a minimum of three effective resource conservative management strategy per project site.

The conservative management strategies are based on the surveys conducted as part of 10 measures against poaching, but they are specifically adjusted to match the ecosystem of the project site. All Nature-based Solutions in the project rely on organic livelihood practices, combining traditional knowledge with western technologies. This approach ensures sustainability and considers both the local environment and communities dependent on it.

At Lokupo, Ano Hehea & Mo'ungalafa project sites, TNYC had carried out various activities to protect the ecosystem. These include preventative poaching measures such as tracking and monitoring human activities, as well as flora and fauna. TNYC has collected data and conducted surveys to track progress and understand the conservation needs of the site. They have removed harmful invasive species to restore the balance of the ecosystem.

At Sopu reef conservation site, various conservation activities took place, including species surveys, collaboration with authorities, youth projects, baseline surveys, trail mapping, tree tagging, habitat restoration with floating plant islands, mangrove planting, and rubbish collection.

TNYC involves local communities in conservation efforts to promote ownership and responsibility for the environment. Through activities like plantings and cleanups, stakeholders are inspired to act and value nature. Embracing NbS leads to a future where humans and nature live together in balance, and everyone looks after the environment.

The TNYC project titled “Biodiversity management and conservation” is a local project under the Kiwa Initiative. The initiative is funded by the European Union (EU), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and (DFAT) and New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

The Kiwa Initiative has established partnerships with the Pacific Community (SPC), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Oceania Regional Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Kiwa Initiative logo and donors and partners