The Minister of Education, Dr. ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki, challenged participants at a World Heritage National Capacity Building Workshop to become responsible for the conservation of cultural and natural heritage. During her opening speech she stated,
“On some future date, we will be called to account for how we executed our responsibilities, and it is my prayer that our descendants will look back kindly on our accomplishments, and say, You did well!”
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Tonga is a beautiful and fascinating country comprised of about 175 islands. Because of the friendly reception, Captain Cook dubbed it the “Friendly Islands” during his first visit in 1773. Tonga is the only country in the Pacific Islands that was never formally colonized, although it became a British Protectorate state under the Treaty of Friendship on May 18, 1900. However, this treaty ended in 1970 and became independent. In 2010, Tonga took a decisive step towards becoming a fully functioning constitutional monarchy.