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Ground Breaking Ceremony for Toloa's Rainforest Nursery

Restoration of Toloa Rainforest (Toloa Forest Restoration Project 2014-2020)

Tonga Invasive Alien Species Project (IAS-Project) has reached out to restore the only existing rainforest in the Tongatapu Island.  On Friday, 5 September 2014, Hon. Samiu Kuita Vaipulu, the Acting Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Environment, Energy, Climate Change, Disaster Management, Information and Communications, was the guest of honour for the Ground Breaking Ceremony for Toloa’s Rainforest Nursery.

Hon. Samiu Vaipulu elucidated that this project was made possible due to the commitment and direction by the former Minister and CEO for Lands, Environment, Climate Change & Natural Resources. “We hope to continue the good work they had started,” says Hon. Samiu Vaipulu.

The Toloa Rainforest is one of four priority sites to be implemented under this project. The other sites include, Mt. Talau and Late Island in Vava’u; and ‘Eua National Park in ‘Eua.  Hon. Samiu Vaipulu was grateful to the Principal of Toloa, teachers, students and all stakeholders involved in the Toloa Rainforest Project for their enthusiasm in wanting to preserve what native forest is left on Tongatapu, and to protect and enrich Toloa Rainforest with native plants.  The Principal of Toloa Mr. ‘Alifeleti ‘Atiola, said in his vote of thanks, “if the sea gets rough for delivering of supplies to the other two priority sites in Vava’u, there would be a piece of land in Toloa that could be named Late and Mt. Talau, and we would be more than happy to have the funds diverted here”.   Approximately TOP30,000 has been allocated to establish the Toloa Rainforest Nursery.

Tonga IAS Project and other 10 Pacific Island countries are participating in preventing invasive species, or potentially invasive species from arriving and establishing; and to take action against existing priority invasive species at priority sites. The main objective of this project is to develop a National Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plan 2013-2020. The Plan will guide Tonga’s efforts to protect its natural heritage and people’s livelihoods from the negative impacts of invasive species.

 The Hon. Minister further shared that his staff is committed to work on mobilising resources to battle against invasive species in Tonga.  Tonga had committed USD1.5M of its country allocation under the next biodiversity global funding phase (GEF-6), and is working towards securing these funds to be implemented in 2016. 

Mr. ‘Alifeleti ‘Atiola acknowledged, with much appreciation, the  presence of the guest of honour, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Samiu Vaipulu, and other distinguished guests, Lord Tangi of Vaonukuonuka, and Siupeli Taliai for their support, and to witness the commemoration of the Toloa Rainforest Nursery.



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