In a bold move, New Zealand has announced that it will turn an area of the South Pacific into a marine reserve.
Bravo New Zealand! Bravo!
This decision is a huge victory for environmental activists who have been fighting for the preservation of marine life in the South Pacific. It is also a step in the right direction for Earth.
The area to be protected is a 620,000 sq. km. (239,400 sq. miles) stretch (about the size of France) of the South Pacific, about 1,000 km northeast of North Island that surrounds Kermadec Island and includes a chain of volcanoes and the Kermadec Trench, one of the deepest ocean trenches in the world. It is also one of the most geographically and geologically diverse areas in the world, and is home to various species of whales, dolphins, sea birds and endangered sea turtles.
On the heels of the Australian government ousting its prime minister, who was caught several times making callous remarks about the environment, the plight of Pacific Islands and global warming, this is a bold statement by New Zealand. And it comes on the heels of Shell’s announcement last week that it would stop arctic drilling, which was great news for polar bears.
Perhaps we really are coming to a shift in the consciousness of our world.
Prime Minister John Key made the announcement at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “New Zealanders value our coasts and oceans, which are an important part of our culture, economy and environment and we are committed to managing them sustainably,” he said in a statement.
Mr. Key stated that fishing and mining will be banned in the new reserve area, causing a stir among the industry giants that operate in the Pacific, as they had no forewarning and haven’t had a chance to “consider the full implications” of the decision.
Why they think they have the right to be forewarned about a move to protect the environment is beyond me, but this is a world of corporations that are in bed with governments and destroy the environment without batting an eye.
I applaud New Zealand for taking a proactive stance and introducing legislation to make this happen, and I hope that it passes without blocks by any seafood or mining corporations.
If the world’s superpowers would all just step up and take a bold, proactive stance to protect our planet, we might just have a chance.
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Editor: Evan Yerburgh