INFORMATION NOTE FOR PARTICIPANTS
1. VENUE AND DATES
The PMC-3 meeting will be held from 20-23 July 2015 and the PMMM will be held on Friday 24 July 2015. Both meetings will be held at the Fa'onelua Convention Centre, Vuna Road, Nukualofa.
2. OPENING AND REGISTRATION
The opening of the PMC-3 meeting will be at 9 a.m. on Monday, 20 July 2015. Registration will take place at the venue of the meeting from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. of the same day.
3. WORKING LANGUAGE OF THE MEETING
The Meetings will be conducted in English only.
There is a wide range of accommodation options in Nuku'alofa. It is highly recommended that you contact the Tonga Tourism Authority's website www.tongaholiday.com for more information. Most of the Meteorological Directors are accommodated at the Tungi Colonnade Accommodation at Taufa'ahau Road. The Room Rate: Single occupancy is TOP $230.00 inclusive of consumption tax per day. You may move to Scenic Hotel (where the Ministers will be staying) on Thursday, however you will need to confirm this with Joyce by 3 July 2015. CEOs and Ministerial Advisors will be accommodated at the Scenic Hotel, 1 Airport Road with the Ministers.
For funded participants, travel will be funded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology through the Climate and Oceans Support Programme for the Pacific (COSPPac). Air tickets are processed on the most direct and economical fare. Respective responsible Government Ministries are kindly requested to meet the difference should there be a need for a higher fare category. Final itineraries will be circulated next week for your final endorsement and to assist with any visas to/from Nukualofa, Tonga. Please note that tickets are issued on special fares and if for any reason you would like to make changes, you are welcome to do so at your own expense.
6. DAILY SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE
DSAs will be distributed on the first day of the meeting. This allowance is to cover for any incidentals during your stay in Tonga.
Meeting documents will be accessible from this link http://pacificclimatechange.net/index.php/pmc.
Transportation is organised to pick up participants from the Tungi Colonnade at 8:00am and other selected pick up points during the week. We will confirm the additional pick up points by 3 July 2015. If you miss this transport, there are many taxis in Nuku'alofa. They are often unmarked and can be identified by the letter T at the beginning of the number plate. Taxis are not metered so it is important to always agree on the fare before departure. Public bus service is available and is mainly used by locals. Cars are also available for rent from a range of rental properties on the island.
There are no area codes in Tonga. The national area code is +676. Digicel and Tonga Communications Corporation (TCC) are the local communication specialists. There are internet cafes throughout Tonga and many accommodation facilities have internet access available.
10. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT NUKU'ALOFA
Nuku'alofa (translated the Abode of Love) is the capital of the Kingdom of Tonga. It is located in the southern part of the Tongan archipelago in the Tongatapu group of islands. It is the main point of entry. Three other major island groups of 'Niua, Ha'apai and Vava'u are accessible by air and sea. Shopping: Nuku'alofa provides you with a wealth of shopping experiences. Nuku’alofa’s Talamahu market is a proudly local affair, selling pyramids of fresh tropical produce and authentic Tongan arts and crafts. Dining: Restaurants are almost limitless. A complete range of local and international culinary delights is available in Nuku'alofa and around the island. Tipping is not expected in Tonga but is always appreciated as a reward for good service.
11. AIRPORT ACCESS INFORMATION
All international flights arrive at Fua'amotu International Airport. Most hotels on Tongatapu rely on a pick up and drop off service by a local transport company.
12. VISA REQUIREMENTS
Participants from countries listed below do not require an entry visa to Tonga: Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cook Islands, Cyprus Denmark, Dominica, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, (New Caledonia, Tahiti, Wallis & Futuna).Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kiribati. Luxembourg Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niue, Norway, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Russia, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Spain, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, The Bahamas, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America and Vanuatu. Visitors from all other countries require a Visa prior to arrival.
13. HEALTH REQUIREMENTS
Travel and health insurance is recommended. For emergencies, call 911. Vaccinations for tuberculosis and Hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. It is recommended to bring mosquito repellant for the evenings or stock up at local pharmacies.
Tongan and English are the main languages in Tonga.
Tonga’s climate is warm, tropical and welcoming. Temperatures are warm all year round and can get hot in the summer, but seldom reach above 35°C (95°F). Trade winds from the East-Southeast bring yearlong cooling breezes in the late afternoon and early evening. Tropical rains fall from December through February, coinciding with the warmest summer months. However, there are no significant differences in temperatures between summer and winter. In general, the winter temperatures (April to September) are only slightly cooler than summer temperatures (November to February).
The main electrical supply in Tonga is 240 volts, 50 Hertz and the power adaptors are as indicated below.
17. CURRENCY AND BANKING
The Tongan dollar is the Pa’anga (TOP) and comes in $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 dollar denominations. Most major credit cards are accepted in Tonga and there are over 200 EFTPOS outlets, however it is recommended that you always have cash on you, as there are a number of outlets that do not have electronic facilities and accept cash only. Some cafes and guesthouses only accept cash, also taxi drivers do not carry large amounts of cash, so carrying small denomination notes is a good idea. There are three commercial banks: Westpac, ANZ and MBf Bank. Most banks are open Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm and Saturday from 8:30am – 12 noon and a number of ATM machines are spread across Tonga.
The Secretariat will not be responsible for medical, accident and travel insurance, compensation for death or disability compensation, loss of or damage to personal property and for any other loss that may be incurred during travel time or the period of participation at the First Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology and the Third Pacific Meteorological Council Meeting. In this context, it is strongly recommended that all participants secure necessary medical insurance for the period of participation prior to departure from your home countries.
19. INFORMATION FOR MINISTERS
Ministers' travels to the Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology (PMMM) on 24 July 2015 are funded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
Air tickets are processed on the most direct and economical fare. However, the highest fare category provided is Works Deluxe on Air New Zealand and equivalent on other airlines. Respective responsible Government Ministries are kindly requested to meet the difference should there be a need for a higher fare category. Accommodation: All Ministers will be accommodated at the Scenic Hotel, located at 1 Airport Road. The Hotel is close to the airport. Direct payment for your room will be made by SPREP to the Hotel for the duration of your stay in Tonga. This amount will be deducted from your DSA. The Room Rate: Single/double occupancy is TOP $224.00 inclusive of breakfast and consumption tax per day. The remaining per diem will be given to you for your incidentals.
Official transportation will be provided for the duration of your stay in Tonga. Transportation will depart the hotel at the latest 8:00am on Friday, 24 July 2015 for the meeting at the Fa'onelua Convention Centre. Reception Dinner by the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga: The Government of the Kingdom of Tonga will be hosting a Dinner Reception on the evening of Friday 24 July 2015. Details will be provided in due course.
Reception Dinner by the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga: The Government of the Kingdom of Tonga will be hosting a Dinner Reception on the evening of Friday 24 July 2015. Details will be provided in due course.
20. LOCAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE:
For any further local information, please feel free to contact the Tonga Meteorological Service on behalf of the Local Organising Committee on the following details:
Tonga Meteorological Service
Phone: (676) 35355 (Forecaster) or 35008
Fax: (676) 35123
Mr. Moleni Tu'uholoaki
Tonga Meteorological Service
Phone: (676) 35355 (Forecaster) or 35008
Fax: (676) 35123
21. CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION:
For more information about the meeting, please do not hesitate to contact Salesa Nihmei ( firstname.lastname@example.org); Christina Leala-Gale ( email@example.com) and Henry Taiki ( firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com); for general travel logistics please contact Joyce Tulua ( firstname.lastname@example.org) SPREP OFFICE in APIA: Tel: +685 21929 Mobile: +685 7260015 (Climate Change Division)