Aichi Targets in the Pacific islands with Tonga
- Published on 09 December 2016
Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
Target 5: By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced
Ms Atelaite Lupe Matoto on right
"Tonga has three National targets to contribute to Aichi Target 5, which are: The expansion of agriculture is minimised and contained; Forest ecosystems and ecosystem services are protected; and community participation is improved. The achievements to meet our national indicators is still in progress.
Trends in pressures from unsustainable agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture are decreasing through ongoing awareness programmes and re-enforcing compliance to legislations. Although there is evidence of abuse in forest reserves, there have been tax allotments used for conservation areas to be rehabilitated with forests. Extinction risk trends of habitat dependent species, for avifauna is currently low. After a rapid biodiversity survey, habitats for dependent species have been located and will be nominated for protection. This includes habitats for the polynesian megapode, the "Malau". Population trends for dependent species show a positive change.
The Vava'u archipelago, one of Tonga's group of islands consisting of about 61 islands, retains high terrestrial biodiversity values including species found nowhere else in the world, and several sites are particularly important to conserve these values. There are a range of threats present of which invasive species such as rats and yellow crazy ants are particularly important. We also recognise the key role that local communities play in looking after their natural resources and we hope that the information will assist them to be strong guardians of the plants and animals that make Vava'u such a special place.
A ridge-to-reef management approach has been adopted to achieving Aichi Targets, and we are working collaboratively with communities, government and non-government organisations, private sectors, international and regional organisations, and institutions." – Ms Atelaite Lupe Matoto, Director of Environment, Tonga