II. NATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
Environmental administration is vested in the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources. Statutory authority derives from Lands Act, Minerals Act, and Parks and Reserves Act. Policies on the environment are implemented by the Environmental Planning Section, which plays the key role in the coordination and implementation of environmental programmes in Tonga. The Environmental Planning Section also takes on an advocacy role for the government at various regional and internal forums on the environment.
The Environmental Planning Section comprises six persons (five technical, one support) with varying levels of qualifications in environmental management, marine and terrestrial conservation, park management, and environmental information and education. One of the main tasks of the Section has been the development and implementation of an EMP for Tonga, including a framework for assessing and monitoring the environmental aspects of energy projects and programmes, in order to ensure conformity with established regulations.