Niue Ocean Conservation Commitments Win Fast Company’s 2024 World Changing Ideas Award for Nature Category

May 14, 2024

ARLINGTON, Va. (May 14, 2024) – The winners of Fast Company’s 2024 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today and the Ocean Conservation Commitments (OCCs) concept was named the winner of the contest’s Nature category, with Niue Ocean Wide (NOW) Trust and Conservation International honored on behalf of the project. OCCs were rolled out in the South Pacific nation of Niue late last year, with each OCC – available for sponsorship from anyone around the world – representing the ecological protection of one square kilometer of ocean for up to 20 years.

While critical for both climate and biodiversity, ocean conservation can often be expensive. And for a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) like Niue, where the square kilometers of ocean outnumber the human population by almost 75-to-1, supporting the ongoing management and protection of so much marine territory is a significant financial challenge. The OCC funding structure help ensure adequate and reliable funding for the next two decades.

“It’s exciting to see the project recognized for its ingenuity and potential, and I hope it will bring more international attention to the some-110 thousand OCCs still available for sponsorship,” said Maël Imirizaldu, Senior Regional Program Officer at the Blue Nature Alliance within Conservation International’s Center for Oceans. Imirizaldu supported the development and launch of the program alongside the NOW Trust and OCCs architects Coral Pasisi and Brendon Pasisi, President of Tofia Niue and Project Manager of the NOW Project and NOW Trust administration, respectively.  The President of the NOW Trust, is Hon. Dalton Tagelagi, who is also the current Premier of Niue and is championing ocean protection in the region.

The Pasisi siblings, together with other passionate local stakeholders through their nonprofit organization Tofia Niue, and Imirizaldu, through the Blue Nature Alliance, worked alongside the government of Niue and several technical partners to bring the OCCs instrument to fruition and facilitate the initial 1,870 OCC sponsorships from sponsors in 21 countries. The NOW Trust, Niue’s first public-private partnership organization, will continue to hold and manage the funds raised through OCC sponsorships.

OCC sponsorship is facilitated through the NOW Trust website, and many more are available to sponsor now. 

Fast Company’s Spring 2024 issue (on newsstands Tuesday, May 21) will profile the project in greater detail, including insights from Imirizaldu and the NOW Trust team and updates on the project’s progress, now six months along. The OCCs concept also received an honorable mention in the World Changing Ideas Awards’ Water category.

This year’s World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 50 winners, 127 finalists, and 172 honorable mentions. A panel of Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners from a pool of more than 1,300 entries across climate, social justice, wellness, politics, technology, corporate social responsibility, and more. The 2024 awards feature entries from across the globe.

“I was struck this year by the global sweep of the honorees,” says Fast Company editor-in-chief Brendan Vaughan. “It’s endlessly inspiring to see how the world is coming together to devise inventive solutions to our most challenging problems. We need ideas from everywhere, and this year’s World Changing Ideas Awards are an extraordinary encapsulation of the innovation and creativity that is so abundant around the globe.”


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 for more, and follow our work on Conservation NewsFacebookTwitterTikTokInstagram and YouTube.

About the Niue & Ocean Wide Trust (NOW Trust): The NOW Trust is a charitable Trust operating as partnership between the Government of Niue and local NGO leaders.  Through world class ocean conservation and marine spatial management, it is supporting a resilient, blue economy that is reinforcing of long term ocean protection, climate resilience and sustainable development for Niue.  By Niue, for Niue and a New-way of inspiring global ocean leadership and action. More at

About Blue Nature Alliance: The Blue Nature Alliance is a global partnership that collaborates with governments, NGOs, local and Indigenous communities, scientists, and other organizations to catalyze and accelerate large-scale ocean conservation. The Alliance supports the marine conservation work of more than 60 partners in approximately 25 sites across the globe, in all five oceans and the high seas. It was founded and is led by Conservation International, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Global Environment Facility, Minderoo Foundation, and the Rob & Melani Walton Foundation. Learn more at

About the World Changing Ideas Awards: World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and bold concepts that make the world better. Judges choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With the goals of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to work on solving the problems that affect us all. 

About Fast Company: Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at