Climate Change Resilience
11 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - One of the ways forward in dealing with climate and disaster related issues in Tonga is bringing the related divisions together under one ministry, says Tonga's Deputy Prime Minister Samiu Vaipulu.

Vaipulu says after three days of dialogue at the Joint Meeting of the 2013 Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Fiji, he is contemplating the merger of the Environment, Climate Change, Tonga National Meteorological and National Emergency Management Office into one ministry.

Tonga dpm
Vaipulu says he will raise this proposal with the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

"My reason to merge these divisions - is to be able to gain more funding, aid and help. If these divisions are merged C they could be able to work more closely together for the benefit of the country and its people", says Vaipulu.

These divisions are under different ministries at the moment - which makes it hard sometimes to direct certain task, as one may say, that particular task is under their division, says Vaipulu.

The idea was from the joint meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Climate Change Roundtable - which he says has shown the way forward in addressing Climate Change and Disaster issues.

According to the deputy prime minister - the Special Representative of the United Nation Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction - Margareta Wahlstrom had promised that if Tonga approves this - she will return to the Kingdom to see what they can do to help.

Bringing these divisions together will make work easier says Vaipulu and "funds and help from donor partner will be used wisely".

He called on donor partners to work closely with the government.

"Donor partners should not come and tell us what they want to be done, but instead we will work together to lay out the best plan, taking into consideration the future."

The Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is from 8 - 11 July and is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Fiji.