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VFL Pilot Programme to help local communities build resilience

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30th January 2018 The CEO for MEIDECC Mr. Paula P. Ma’u today officially opened a Views from the Frontline (VFT) Pilot Regional Training workshop aimed to collect perspectives of local communities, civil society organisations and local government on disaster risk at Tanoa International Dateline Hotel.

Mr. Ma’u said that the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) formed a partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the past years to promote disaster risk reduction (DRR) work by incorporating it into most Community Development Plan (CDP) at local level.

“Through these CDPs the bottoms up approach has already begun and with the help of VFL, we hope that we can take these plans and link them to the national policies that we have such as the Tonga Strategic Development Framework 2015-2025 and onto the Sendai Framework.”

He said that the national and local strategies for reducing disaster risk, including climate risk will be the foundation to lessen disaster losses by 2030.

He also told participants that local planning for improved disaster risk management helps create social demand for action at both national and global level.

“It also helps drive greater ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions above and beyond the pledges already made which are insufficient to achieve the goal of keeping global temperatures at less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”

Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) Programme Manager Ms. Lucy Pearson said that implementing views from the frontline started in 2008 through collaboration with civil society organizations from around the world including Tonga Community Development Trust .

“This global program is a participatory local monetary initiative. We mobilize and empower civil society organizations to go out and collect perspective of local communities, local civil society and local government on that risk and perspective of resilience. For example what risk do they prioritize, what are the consequences that they face, what action do they think they need to build resilient in or barriers that they are facing.”

She said that the data gathered will be used to develop policies in practice because it is important that local people who experience the risk of flood, sea level rise, storm surges have a voice on what priority should be in the national development plans or in the school curriculum.

“We are here today to start a new round of views from the frontline which is going to be piloted in the Philippines and in Tonga because they have unique and very important status, they have unique vulnerabilities so we need unique capacities.”

Pearson said that this new round of views from the frontline will also collect information in the extent to which local communities are included in resilience processes such as risk assessment and consultation and development of disaster management.

GNDR will then support local communities to reflect and analyse the findings in order to develop a local action plan. It will also assist the government, private sectors, media and other stakeholders through workshops to reflect on findings and to understand the priorities of local communities.

She said that experiences and lessons of Tonga and the Philippines will be shared with other governments so that they can implement the global disaster reduction in a more effective way.

TCDT’s Executive Director Mr. Sione Lavinia Faka’osi also signed a MOU with GNDR’s VFL Coordinator Ms. Lorna Victoria to mark the beginning of the VFL Pilot programme in Tonga.

The workshop brings together participants from civil society, NGOs, local communities and line ministries and is hosted by TCDT.


Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications.



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