VEPA designs and co-ordinates its projects to ensure ownership by the communities of their environment and ecosystems. We engage all social groups within communities in Vava’u through media and education, hands on projects, as well as collaboration with National Government programs, local and regional NGO’s, and funding partners.
Marine Focused Programs
Coral reef, near-shore, and pelagic habitats are critical to many biological, ecological, economic and social functions for biodiversity, livelihoods, and sustainable development. In order to further community based management programs, ecological monitoring and national management plans, VEPA has been engaged in the following activities:
- Vava’u Ocean Initiative (VOI) funded by the Wait Institute in 2017.
VOI is a partnership between the Government of Tonga, VEPA, Waitt Institute to support fisheries management, sustainable ocean planning, conserve biodiversity, and allow for sustainable economic development. This is done through a combination of supporting community management programs, national programs such as marine spatial planning (MSP) and the development and utilization of scientific research.
**Find out more by checking out the project’s Facebook page: Vava’u Ocean Initiative
Ko e VOI’ ko e fengāue’aki ia he vaha’a ‘o e Pule’anga Tonga’, VEPA’ mo e Waitt Institute ke poupou ki he founga pule’I ‘o e toutai’, palani ‘oseni tu’uloa’, fakatolonga ‘o e me’a mo’ui’ pea mo fakangofua ha ‘ekonomika fakalakalaka tu’uloa. ‘Oku fakahoko ‘eni ‘I hano fakatahataha’I e ngāahi poupou ki hono pule’I ‘e he komiunitīi’, ngāahi polokalama faka-pule’anga hangē ko e Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) mo e fakalakalaka’ mo hono ngāue’aki ‘o e ngāahi fekumi faka-saienisi foki.
**Ki hano fakaikiiki kataki ‘o vakai’I ‘emau peesi Feisipuka ko e: Vava’u Ocean Initiative
- Our Ocean funded by the Waitt Foundation in 2016.
Our Ocean project aimed to increase community capacity and understanding of marine ecosystems and the benefits of marine protected and community managed areas. The awareness program has already reached over 39 communities and 18 schools and has successfully developed information material on near-shore habitats, sustainable fishing and gleaning which is used in community discussions.
Ko e poloseki “Ko hotau ‘Oseni’” na’e fakataumu’a ia ki hono fakatupulaki e ‘ilo mo e mahino ‘a e komiunitīi´ ki he ‘ekosisitemi ‘I he ‘oseni’ mo e ngāahi lelei hono malu’I ‘o e ‘oseni’ pea mo e ngāahi ‘elia pule’I makehe ‘I he komiunitīi’. Ko e polokalama ako tokateu’ kuo a’u atu ki he ngāahi komiunitī ‘e 39 mo e ngāahi ‘apiako ‘e 18 pea ‘oku fakalakalaka aipe foki hono tānaki e ngāahi fakamatala fekau’aki mo e ngaahi nofo’anga ‘I he matāfanga’, toutai fakapotopoto’ pea mo e founga fāngota ‘I he feitu’u mamaha’, ‘a ia kuo ngaue’aki ‘i he ngāahi tālanga mo e komiunitīi’.
- Feasibility survey of the plankton, ichthyoplankton and crypto-benthic fishes
This project works to develop a low-cost methodology for light traps and plankton tows along with the collection of crypto-benthic fishes. Analysis of abundance and genetic composition is also conducted with the project development being reported to the Ministry of Fisheries.
‘Oku ngāue ‘a e poloseki’ ni ke fakalakalaka’I e founga totongi ma’ama’a ko´ia ‘oku ngāue’aki ai e māama’ ke tauhele’I ‘aki kinautolu pea mo hono ngaue’aki ‘o e net’ ke puke ‘aki kinautolu fakataha mo hono tānaki ‘o e fanga ki’I ika iiki ‘oku nofo ‘I kilisitahi’. ‘Analaiso hono tu’unga mahu’ pea mo hono fa’unga faka- senetiki’ (genetics) pea ‘oku fakahoko mo hono lipooti ‘o e tu’unga fakalakalaka ‘o e poloseki’ ki he Potungāue Toutai’.
Terrestrial (land) Based Programs
- Invasive Species Management funded through SPREP under the National Invasive Species Action Plan
The project aids in rat management and eradication on Mount Talau and two outer islands to protect the natural biodiversity and ecological process of these areas. Monthly bird counts are also conducted to monitor the population of the Tongan Whistler (Hengehenga).
Ko e poloseki´ni ‘oku’ ne fakapa’anga hono tokangaekina e fanga kumā ‘i Mo’unga Talau’ mo e ongo motu kehe ‘e ua, ke malu’I e fanga me’a mo’ui fakaenatula’ pea mo e polosesi felālāve’I ‘o e fanga manu’ mo natula’. Ko hono lau fakamāhina ‘o e fanga manupuna’ ‘oku ngaue’aki ia ke monitoa e tokolahi ‘o e Hengehenga’.