* Biodiversity * Access Benefit Sharing * Biosafety Act 2010 * Invasive Species * Protected Areas * Sustainable Land Management *
Given the scarcity of natural resources, Tonga’s development hinges predominantly on the utilisation of its biodiversity both in the marine and terrestrial environment. Agriculture remains the mainstay of the economy employing various technologies for subsistence and commercial farming. Fisheries development has increasingly become important given the need for foreign earnings and development of the local economy. Tourism is rising sector utilising the pristine nature of the local environment as its main attraction. But these have unfortunately impacted heavily on the local environment leading to loss of wildlife habitat, over-exploitation of coral reefs, pollution and introduction of alien invasive species. The extent of the environmental degradation is even made worse when the effects of drought, cyclones and inadvertent use of pesticides are taken into consideration. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Tonga (NBSAP) provides the framework for coordinating efforts of local, national, regional and international groups in terms of advancement of sustainable development in Tonga. The Division is currently implementing four projects to address local issues highlighted under the NBSAP: • NBSAP Project (Revision of the NBSAP and Development of Fifth National Report to the CBD); • Integrated Island Biodiversity Project; • Invasive Alien Species; and • Community Turtle Monitoring and Eco –tourism Development Project.