Give the gift of ocean conservation with Niue Ocean Wide and Ocean Conservation Commitments initiative

Source: SPREP

9 December 2023, Dubai, UAE – The Government and people of Niue have been hailed for their leadership in developing a sustainable financing mechanism that will support the conservation of its pristine ocean resource for the next twenty years.

The Niue and Ocean Wide (NOW) Trust and Ocean Conservation Commitments (OCCs) – a public-private partnership between the Government of Niue and Tofia Niue, a non-governmental organisation – aims to build on Niue’s commitment of 40% of its Exclusive Economic Zone – a total of 127,000 square kilometres, as a no-take, large-scale marine protected area called the Niue Moana Mahu.

The main goals of NOW are to establish an ocean-wide Marine Spatial Management Plan to help manage and conserve its natural resources, establish effective compliance, enforcement, and monitoring of the abundance and health of marine species, and to establish a sustainable funding source to finance Niue’s conservation efforts.

They aim to do this through Ocean Conservation Commitments, which allows individuals, groups, or organisations to sponsor 1 square kilometre of Niue’s waters for NZD $12.50 per year for the next 20 years. The minimum amount of each OCC is NZD $250. You can sponsor an OCC for yourself, or even gift it to relatives and friends, making it an excellent gift idea for the upcoming Christmas season.

Niue’s Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Mona Ainu’u said that the initiative was developed to not only help the Niuean people but to protect its oceans and is one that the Government of Niue decided to support as a solution to the difficulties and delays faced in receiving finance from global financing mechanisms.

Ms Coral Pasisi, President of Tofia Niue, a non-governmental organisation which has partnered with the Government of Niue to bring about this initiative, echoed the sentiments expressed by the Honourable Minister.

“We have been talking about financing for way too long – having been involved in the development of the Green Climate Fund. However, it took ten years from the time we called for its establishment to the time that we finally saw the first impact of that investment in a Pacific country. We simply can’t wait that long,” Ms Pasisi said.

Mr Sefanaia Nawadra, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) said that this initiative is one of the good-news iniatives coming out of the region, and that this initiative is made even more special by the fact that it’s homegrown.

“You can’t help but see the pride in the Niueans who have put together this initiative and those have been involved. For me, this is the greatest thing because then you have something that truly belongs to you.

“It is also commendable that the Niueans are also willing to share this with everyone. It sends the message that we are committed to something that our own people have put together to address something that is not our fault but something that we still have to deal with.”

Source: SPREP