Niue’s new EEZ legislation to sustain 100 percent of its marine environment and build important resilience to the growing impacts of climate change, pollution and extraction
The Government and people of Niue, in collaboration with Tofia Niue through the Niue Ocean Wide (NOW) public-private partnership, on Wednesday announced bold new marine legislation passed in November 2021, that will ensure sustainable use across its entire EEZ and sovereign waters (317,500 square kilometres) while also contributing to the global environment, climate action and key sustainable development goals.
The Niue Nukutuluea Multiple-Use Marine Park safeguards 100 percent of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ and Territorial seas), building on legislation passed in 2020 to fully protect 40 percent as a no-take Large Scale Marine Protected Area (Niue Mona Mahu). These efforts are a culmination of collective efforts over the last 6 years, including scientific assessment, community consultation, and cost-benefit analysis, and inspired by a baseline of over 1000 years of traditional knowledge, practice and respect for our ocean.
Niue now exceeds global conservation ambition and responsibilities identified in the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), Climate Change Convention and Paris Agreement, and supports the realisation of regional sustainable conservation and blue economy aspirations as espoused in the 2050 Strategy for a Blue Pacific Continent and Pacific Oceanscape Framework. Niue continues to call on all stakeholders around the globe to ’walk the talk’ in contributing to real ocean conservation – including individuals, businesses, corporations, philanthropy and Governments.
The decision reflects Niue’s ancestral tradition of taking only what is needed from the ocean to sustain life and ensure continued abundance for future generations. It also underpins the centrality of sustainable and responsible tourism that has been a significant part of Niue’s sustainable development agenda and economy over the last decade. And ultimately, it helps to respond to the reality of unprecedented global pressure on our ocean from climate change, pollution and extractive industry.
Niue’s EEZ-wide action prioritises sustainability and optimising value and benefits to the people of Niue through global best practices in marine spatial planning and five tightly managed marine resource use zones across its oceanscape. The value of Niue’s ocean space under such a management regime is multifaceted. It delivers significant benefits at the global, regional and country-level across a range of dimensions – including ecosystem services, biodiversity protection and uptake, climate change action, socio-economic outcomes and resilient livelihoods. Investing in the longevity of this ‘large blue conservation asset’ stands to benefit everyone, and as such, everyone is invited to help maintain this shared endowment in perpetuity.
With the EEZ-wide management plan in place, the NOW partnership, with support from Oceans 5, National Geographic Pristine Seas, Blue Nature Alliance, and other partners, is focused on building local technical support to implement the marine park and pioneering an innovative country lead sustainable financing mechanism. This includes establishing Niue’s first conservation trust fund and an innovative instrument to capitalise on the fund to allow all stakeholders to contribute and participate in this ocean conservation effort.
Niue intends to launch the Trust and call for capitalisation at the UN Oceans Conference in June 2022.
This statement was originally published by Niue Government on 13 April 2022, reposted via PACNEWS.