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Conservation International Applauds Niue for Comprehensive New Marine Protections

April 14, 2022

The small island nation has announced plans to protect its entire ocean territory

Arlington, VA (April 14, 2022) – Conservation International applauds the government of the South Pacific island nation of Niue, which today announced new protections for all of its sovereign waters. The Niue Ocean Wide (NOW) Project will enact these protections alongside the Blue Nature Alliance, of which Conservation International is a member.

The announcement provides a framework to develop the Niue Nukutuluea Multiple-Use Marine Park to cover 100% of Niue’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which distinguishes the island’s national waters from the international high seas. The park will regulate natural resource use within the island’s EEZ and ensure sustainable development and use practices.

“This degree of marine protection is groundbreaking, with all of the EEZ poised to see some level of protection and 40% of it fully protected,” said Ashleigh McGovern, Vice President of Development and Innovation and Director of Partnerships at Conservation International’s Center for Oceans. “We’re thrilled to see this commitment from the government and people of Niue, and hope that their action will inspire other countries to follow suit with their own EEZs.”

Niue exceeds the marine conservation targets outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Convention on Biodiversity. The island is also compliant with global 30x30 Initiative benchmarks, which call for 30% of a nation’s waters and 30% of its land be officially protected by 2030.

The area of Niue’s EEZ – 317,500 square kilometers of the sea – outnumbers its land area more than a thousand times over. These national waters are critical to the island’s culture, infrastructure, economy and ancestral tradition. 

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About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive together. Go to Conservation.org for more, and follow our work on Conservation NewsFacebookTwitterTikTokInstagram and YouTube.