ClimateWorks is partnering with Global Green Growth Institute and Relative Creative to develop a long-term low emissions development strategy for the Kingdom of Tonga. The second window of workshops as part of the project, drew upon the Tongan practice of weaving tapa cloth to create a ‘pattern for the future.’

Building on stakeholders’ shared vision from the first workshop (‘Window one’ –⁠ see more information here), government staff from across all ministries, state owned enterprises, private sector, and civil society organisations like youth groups and community development agencies came together for the next workshop series, facilitated by Tonga’s Department of Climate Change and five local facilitators.

Members of the Agriculture, Forestry and other Land Use consider their chosen ‘Kupesi’ or intervention cards.

The visions created during window one were for a ‘zero-waste Tonga’, ‘mind and body well-being Tonga’ and a ‘resilient and autonomous Tonga’. ‘Window two’ made use of the metaphor of weaving to create ngatu. Ngatu is a traditional cloth of tapa, produced by women to mark significant life events like births, graduations, weddings, and funerals. Significantly, the process of ngatu production can’t be completed by one woman alone. The work is completed by women making up koka’anga groups that piece together feta’aki (tapa cloth). To add pattern to the ngatu, kupesi (stencils) are embossed into the plain feta’aki. The intervention cards used to facilitate the workshops were named ‘kupesi’ to symbolise the act of participants creating a pattern for their future.

An example of ‘Kupesi’ cards being mapped against across the 2050 time horizon.

The first day of Window two mapped possible pathways towards a vision for the future of Tonga in a low carbon world. Day two mapped possible actions at different scales of Tongan society. The next step towards achieving long-term low emissions development strategy, the project team will use the outputs developed in these workshops to inform the next stage of technical analysis with the aim of developing a detailed pathway articulating a shared vision for Tonga’s low carbon future, as well as its desired future.

With contribution from New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tonga’s long-term low emissions development stretegy project is supporting the Tonga Department of Climate Change under the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication (MEIDECC). ClimateWorks is partnering with Global Green Growth Institute and Relative Creative. Find out more.

By Dani Robertson