Sharing lessons with the world – Tonga’s P3DM success story

Tonga was represented on the world stage at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii this week. The island kingdom successfully carried out Participatory three-Dimensional modelling (P3DM) for the Vava'u island group this year as part of the Integrated Island Biodiversity Project.

At a special event to launch the Power of Maps book at the World Conservation Congress, Ms. Ana Fekau, the IIB Project Coordinator of Tonga shared their story of the P3DM process and how it helped to strengthen community engagement in planning for the conservation of biodiversity in Tonga.

"The process in developing the first P3DM in the Kingdom of Tonga brought communities together, the elderlies, youth and school children. The P3DM was not just a tool for planning purposes, but was also a tool to empower communities and to hear their voices through the stories they were sharing during the process," said Ms. Fekau.

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Ms. Ana Fekau, IIB Project Coordinator - Tonga, at the World Conservation Congress. Photo: SPREP

The IIB Project supports an integrated ecosystem approach to the biodiversity conservation management at the local level in the Cook Islands, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu. The four year project finishes at the end of this year.

"The World Conservation Congress has provided an excellent platform to showcase and share Tonga's P3DM work that was successfully completed under this project, and the expansion of this work to Nauru and the Cook Islands," said Ms Easter Galuvao, Biodiversity Adviser at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment (SPREP).

During her presentation, Ms Fekau explained the 3D participatory process, the challenges faced and valuable lessons resulting from Tonga's P3DM, including her role in the successful replication of P3DM in the main island of Tongatapu.

487516 1118003758230211 7253954145226570251 nMembers of the Vava'u community with their completed P3DM. Photo: SPREP

"I wish to express sincere thanks and acknowledge the GEFPAS IIB Project and SPREP for facilitating the P3DM for Tonga, the Samoa Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for providing their valuable technical expertise and to the Technical Centre for Rural Agricultural Cooperation for their support," said Ms Fekau during her presentation.

The presentation was given at a side event at the IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) currently underway in Honolulu, Hawaii is attended by over 9,000 participants from around the world and will wrap up on the 10 September.

The GEFPAS Integrated Island Biodiversity (IIB) Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, implemented through the United Nations Environment Programme and executed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme in the Cook Islands, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu.
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