News - Mar 29, 2024 Tonga Endorses the Pacific’s first Asbestos Management Code of Practice

The Kingdom of Tonga has made a significant effort to safeguard its communities from the dangers of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) by creating and approving an Asbestos Management Code of Practice (AMCOP). This code guides the safe handling and supervision of ACM within the nation.


The Honourable Prime Minister and Acting Minister for MEIDECC, Hon Huakavameiliku,  on January 18, 2024, approved the enforcement of the AMCOP.  The Department of Environment in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Department of Customs, Ministry of Infrastructure, and Waste Authority Limited is now determining the best approach to inform the regulated community on the AMCOP and how they will implement the necessary compliance activities to ensure the community is safeguarded.



The Department of Environment under the MEIDECC requested the PacWastePlus Programme to provide the department support to develop an AMCOP and a supplementary guide for Tonga. The AMCOP is a document that provides standards and best practices for the safe handling and management of asbestos in Tonga.



The AMCOP advises regulatory bodies, practitioners, tradespeople, and the public on how to undertake safe work requirements when working or encountering asbestos. It is a practical document that provides information on working with asbestos, the risks associated with that work, and how to safely manage risks and protect the health of workers and residents.



The Asbestos Management Code of Practice is seen as a vital initial measure to guarantee the effective management of asbestos in the future by offering guidance on managing, controlling, and ultimately containing all asbestos materials in Tonga.

MEIDECC and other agencies will commence implementation of a National Education and Awareness Plan to increase the knowledge and capacity of businesses and residents on how to live safely with asbestos, and how to manage ACM as directed by the AMCOP.