08th March, 2017 A new partnership between the APEC Climate Center, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Food and Fisheries and the Ministry of Land, Survey and Natural Resources was formed today at Tanoa International Dateline Hotel.
The Deputy Prime Minister Hon Siaosi Sovaleni and the President of APCC Dr Hong Sang Jung signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the APCC and the Government of Tonga for the new Agri-Water Project, Development of Smart Water Management System Using Climate Information in Response to Shortage of Water in the Kingdom of Tonga.
The new project is developed from the successes of the AgroMet and Water Projects to enhance the data available for strategic planning of water resources. With increased seasonal variability and climate change, the project will equip decision-makers with the information they need to ensure sustainable water resources.
Hon. Sovaleni highlighted the importance of being able to access timely climate information and monitor groundwater in real-time.
He stated that he was happy with the plans developed to build more resilient communities and promote sustainable development, as outlined in the Tonga Agriculture Sector Plan and thanked APCC for their assistance.
After the signing of the MoU the gathering proceeds with the final workshop for two collaborative projects, AgroMet and Water Project organized by the APEC Climate Center (APCC) and the Tongan Government.
The AgroMet Project, Improving Agricultural Productivity through Ensuring Data Availability and Enhancing Agro-meteorological Services, which operated from August 2014 to December 2016, was a partnership between APCC, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Food, and Fisheries (MAFFF), and Tonga Meteorological Service (TMS) of the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC). Through scientific research, the collaboration of agriculture and climate sectors, and strong engagement with stakeholders, an online climate service for agriculture, the Tonga Climate Services for Agriculture (http://met.gov.to:2016), was developed. By providing tailored agro-climate information, this project has helped increase the capacity of Tongan growers in managing climate risks.
The Water Project, Development of Smart Groundwater Management System in the Kingdom of Tonga: Utilizing Climate Information in Response to Shortage of Water has completed the first stage of the three-year project that was started in January 2016. In partnership with the Ministry of Lands, Survey & Natural Resources (MLSNR), the project aimed at increasing the accessibility of groundwater data as well as enhancing the capacity of Tongan government officials in the practical use of this information in strategic planning for water resources. The project combined scientific research, application of tailored technology and modeling, and active cooperation with stakeholders, to deliver i) real-time groundwater monitoring system via data loggers and server; ii) groundwater flow model of Tonga to reproduce the groundwater flow and to predict future changes in groundwater resource; and iii) groundwater information system integrating real-time data collection and groundwater flow model for its analysis and simulation as well as management of groundwater resources.
The Joint Final Workshop featured presentations on both projects, addresses from the President of the APEC Climate Center Dr. Jung and project partners.
Dr. Jung thanked the Tongan Partners for all of the support received and expressed his hope for many more collaborative activities in the future.
The diverse range of presentations reflected the multidisciplinary nature of the two projects with the hope that the outcome of these projects will continue to benefit Tongans in the years to come.
Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication