Implementation of the Convention
Initiatives in Protected Areas
The Government of Tonga has developed policies for protected areas that cover the establishment and management of protected areas. The Parks and Reserves Act of 1976 established a Parks and Reserves Authority with members appointed by the Privy Council. The Minister of Lands is the Authority until the Privy Council appoints another. The Authority, with consent of the Privy Council, declares or cancels any area of land or sea as a park or reserve and draws up regulations to protect, preserve and maintain the natural, historical, scientific or other valuable information of any park or reserve. At national level, the Ministry of Lands, Survey & Natural Resources, Department of Environment, Agriculture & Forestry, Fisheries, Police, and Tourism is involved in the decision-making process with regard to the establishment and management of protected areas such as National Parks, Terrestrial and Marine Parks & Reserves Protected Area and plays a facilitating role with regard to issues related to the establishment and management of protected areas in Tonga. At government level systematic planning processes for development and implementation of protected areas exist to some extent. The objectives/management regimes vary according to the protection category (National Park, Nature reserve, landscape protection area etc.): protection of biodiversity, threatened species, landscape protection, protection of geological features, unique landscape marks, etc.