Our Seas Our Future welcomes Leaders’ Pledge for Nature

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Our Seas Our Future welcomes yesterday’s release of the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature and urges Kiwi leaders to pledge their commitment to nature and take action on their campaign promises. 

Jacinda Arden joined 63 other global leaders who signed the agreement to put nature at the heart of their decisions and reverse biodiversity loss. 

Helen Loveridge, OSOF policy advisor says it’s encouraging to see a global unified commitment to addressing some of the environmental crises facing our planet, but we need concrete action from our leaders for it to be meaningful. 

“With four of the targets under Sustainable Development Goal 14 – conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development – due this year, and calls by scientists and the International Union for Conservation of Nature for protection of 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030, it’s imperative that leaders take bold action to safeguard our oceans and marine ecosystems.”

“International agreements are often regarded as optional; political will is needed for environmental interests to be put ahead of economic gain. Jurisdictional divides means that unified leadership is integral to protecting our oceans – we all have a responsibility to protect our wildlife and reverse biodiversity loss for future generations and for the health of our planet.”

“New Zealand is involved in the negotiations for the creation of a binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. As an island nation with a unique and rare marine environment, we have an opportunity to be an international leader.”

Loveridge also says that New Zealand’s marine biodiversity is in a dire state with 22 percent of marine mammals, 90 percent of seabirds and 80 percent of shorebirds threatened or at risk of extinction

“New Zealand has thousands of diverse species, and by protecting only a fraction of our marine environment we have been failing them in our role as stewards.” 

“It’s disappointing that political parties have been neglecting marine policy so far this election period. Although the Green Party’s Thriving Oceans Plan is encouraging as it recognises the urgency required and sets ambitious goals, strategies need to be backed-up by action beyond the campaigning period with key time-frames and deliverables.” 

“We insist all leaders to heed by their promises and commit ‘not simply to words, but to meaningful action and mutual accountability to address the planetary emergency.”

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