A giant video billboard is being lugged around downtown Wellington this week to alert politicians’ eyes and ears to the plight of our oceans.
With mass protests problematic under Covid, Greenpeace has taken this different and safer tack to help ordinary New Zealanders get their message across.
“Next month governments around the world will meet to decide on a treaty to protect our big blue planet,” says Greenpeace Aotearoa Oceans Campaigner, Ellie Hooper.
“Covid 19 has delayed this important summit – it’s vital that politicians from Aotearoa come out fighting on behalf of the world’s oceans.”
More than 60,000 New Zealanders have joined the call for a strong treaty, and 4 million people worldwide support the campaign.
The mobile billboard will play video clips from people across the country who’ve signed the petition and sent in their recorded messages to Greenpeace, explaining why.
On February 9th, Greenpeace will deliver these names to Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Nanaia Mahuta and the Green MP Eugenie Sage outside Parliament, calling on the New Zealand Government to be a champion for the strongest treaty available.
“A robust Global Oceans Treaty would overhaul the broken system of global ocean governance that has allowed the expansion of harmful activities like destructive fishing and mining, and seen wildlife decline at alarming rates.”
Done right, says Hooper, the Treaty would provide a pathway to protecting at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 – the target scientists tell us is necessary for the oceans to survive.
Hooper hopes that these testimonials from pre-schoolers through to great grandmothers will move the hearts of politicians.
“While everyone’s rightly preoccupied about the pandemic and the new variant, there are ongoing related crises, like climate and the state of the oceans, which also deserve urgent attention – otherwise we may emerge from Covid to discover a ruined world.”