VIII. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
[ VIII-A | VIII-B | VIII-C | VIII-D | VIII-E | VIII-F | VIII-G | VIII-H ]
H. Public awareness and participation
Achieving an adequate level of environmental management and sustainable development depends on proper public awareness of the issues and public participation in the appropriate decision-making processes. Unfortunately, at present there is limited public awareness of the true dimensions of the immediate and future environmental issues in Tonga.
With regard to the participation of the public as well as the private sector in the government decision-making processes related to the environment, so far no channels have been established which would allow such participation to take place.
It is recommended that:
- Current public-awareness raising efforts and educational activities such as those undertaken by Environmental Planning Section, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, as well as those which would be carried out by the proposed Ministry of Environment, be upgraded and strengthened through the formulation of longer-term programmes and the provision of more staff and financial resources;
- The Environmental Planning Section, or its future equivalent, publish topical reports and newsletters containing articles on the environment;
- Environmental issues be included in non-formal and formal education;
- Proper channels of communication be immediately established to allow a two-way dialogue between the government and the private sector and members of the public, as well as participation by the latter in the relevant government decision-making processes.