Climate Risk Management in Water Sector in Tonga

Type Journal Article
Title Climate Risk Management in Water Sector in Tonga
Natural disasters have a significant impact in the Pacific Islands. Between 1950 and 2004,
more than 200 disasters resulted in more than 1700 fatalities and losses amounting to USD
6.5 billion. Given their small populations and economies, such losses are traumatic to Pacific
Island countries. Tonga, one of 52 Small Island Developing States (SIDS), is highly
susceptible to the impacts of climate change and disasters due principally to its geographical,
geological, and socio–economic characteristics. Climate change and natural disasters pose
severe adverse threats on the environment, the people of Tonga, and their livelihoods.
Scientific findings revealed that these impacts would be exacerbated by future climate
change. The Government of Tonga has acknowledged these risks to the sustainable
development of the country and has hence considered these issues as high priorities in its
National Strategic Planning Framework. The United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) and the Australian Government Pacific Adaptation Climate Change (PACC) project
have assisted to increase the resilience of the water resources management sector in Tonga
and to enhance adaptive capacity of villages, communities and socio–economic activities to
climate change and sea level rise (SLR). This paper, however, describes the impacts of water
resources due to climate change rather than the PACC results.