Greenpeace activists sidestepped the chaos in Wellington this afternoon to deliver a petition demanding stronger protection for the oceans.
The petition, signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders, was received by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta, and Green MPs Eugenie Sage and Golriz Ghahraman.
Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner, Ellie Hooper says “Over sixty thousand New Zealanders have signed this petition and joined our call for strong action to protect the ocean. We now need our politicians to take an ambitious position in the international talks being held next month about the future of the oceans.”
World Governments meet in March at the United Nations to discuss the future of a Global Oceans Treaty which if done right, could help protect a third of the world’s oceans by 2030.
“For the sake of our planet and future generations Greenpeace is urging New Zealand politicians to push for the strongest Global Oceans Treaty possible – one that will allow for a network of sanctuaries covering 30% of the oceans,” says Hooper.
“We appreciate the attention our politicians are paying to this issue, and we hope it equates to effective action in the negotiations around the Global Oceans Treaty.
“Negotiations for this treaty have been delayed due to the arrival of Covid 19. Meanwhile the health of the ocean has continued to decline. Overfishing, pollution and climate change threaten the survival of marine species, and undermine the ocean’s ability to counter climate change and feed billions of people around the world,” she says.
Scientists say protecting 30 percent of the world’s oceans is the minimum needed for the ocean to continue its role as climate stabiliser, food basket and home to a vast array of marine life.
“As an island nation with a deep connection to the ocean, we must advocate for its survival – it’s in our own interest,” Hooper adds.