New Zealand’s new ocean sanctuary will be a No Go Area for mining

Originaly published by The Guardian. By Oliver Milman

New Zealand will create one of the largest marine protected areas in the world, spanning an area of 620,000 sq km.

The Kermadec ocean sanctuary will be one of the world’s most significant fully protected ecosystems, the prime minister of New Zealand, John Key, told the UN general assembly in New York.

The sanctuary is in the South Pacific Ocean, about 1000km north-east of New Zealand, and expands a marine reserve that surrounds a clutch of small islands.

The Kermadec ocean sanctuary
(The Kermadec ocean sanctuary. Photograph: NZ Ministry of Environment/EPA)

The area is considered crucial in terms of biodiversity, featuring nearly 35 species of whales and dolphins, 150 types of fish and three of the world’s seven sea turtle species. It is also geologically significant, encompassing the world’s longest chain of submerged volcanoes and the second deepest ocean trench, plunging to 10km underwater – deeper than Mount Everest is tall.

The scale of the sanctuary will dwarf any previous New Zealand protected area, spanning twice the size of the country’s landmass. It will cover 15% of New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone.

Commercial and recreational fishing will be completely banned, as will oil, gas and mineral prospecting, exploration and mining. Key’s government aims to pass legislation establishing the sanctuary next year.

“The Kermadecs is a world-class, unspoiled marine environment and New Zealand is proud to protect it for future generations,” Key said.

“New Zealanders value our coasts and oceans, which are an important part of our culture, economy and environment and we are committed to managing them sustainably.

“Creating protected areas will support not only our own fisheries, but those of our Pacific neighbours, adding to New Zealand’s efforts to help grow Pacific economies through the responsible management of their ocean resources.”

Nick Smith, New Zealand’s environment minister, said the sanctuary might impose a cost upon the mining industry but it was important to protect the ocean before exploration took place.

“New Zealand needs to use its vast ocean resources for jobs and exports with industries like fishing, aquaculture, minerals and energy, but we also need to set aside special areas where nature comes first and marine life is fully protected,” Smith said.

New Zealand will monitor the area via its navy and satellite technology. The Kermadec region will join three other key areas in the Pacific protected by the US, UK and Australia, with the four reserves covering 3.5m sq km of the ocean.

Matt Rand, director of the Pew Charitable Trust’s global ocean legacy campaign, welcomed Key’s announcement.

“New Zealand will create the gold standard of conservation areas in the Kermadecs, preserving one of the few relatively unspoiled areas of ocean on Earth,” he said.

“This commitment is an exciting step toward meeting global goals to safeguard at least 30% of the ocean through fully protected marine reserves.”

Related Posts

Webinar: How do we move beyond mining? Australian perspectives on post-extractivism
Seeing is Believing: Nautilus Giant Seabed Mining Machines Will Wreak Havoc and Destruction
Bougainville Copper Limited’s Panguna mine hits roadblock from protesters
Resistance, exchange, (post)extractivism: YLNM Coordinators meet in Galicia- in photos
VICTORY! OceanaGold loses ISDS claim against El Salvador
Gamilaraay people fight for their songlines in epic anti-CSG fight
Report: Greasing the Wheels
WHEN WE SAY NO, WE MEAN NO: Wangan & Jagalingou People fight mega-mine to protect land and culture
Save Dory’s home from toxic mine waste!

Save Dory’s home from toxic mine waste!

  • Written on: 17 June 2016
  • Posted under: Campaigns
Singer Anohni to walk 110 miles across desert to protest uranium mining
From the Pacific to London; Ban Seabed Mining
#StandWithAmadiba

#StandWithAmadiba

  • Written on: 11 May 2016
  • Posted under: Videos
The Coconut Revolution: Resisting Rio Tinto’s Panguna Mine

The Coconut Revolution: Resisting Rio Tinto’s Panguna Mine

  • Written on: 19 February 2016
  • Posted under: Videos
The Kakadu Charter Which Helped Stop A Uranium Mine Marks 15 Years Of Shared Values
Australia is ‘destroying the life support systems’ says Respected Ecologist
Stop Adani Destroying Our Land and Culture

Stop Adani Destroying Our Land and Culture

  • Written on: 04 November 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
Coal mining’s promise falls through for Dunedoo
Mirning Peoples fight oil giants wanting to drill the Bight
New Zealand’s new ocean sanctuary will be a No Go Area for mining
Bougainville Hardliners declare island a No Go Area for Mining
Our land is our life. No fracking in Arnhem Land, or Australia
From the Horse’s Mouth: Perceptions of Development from Papua New Guinea
Indigenous Communities Against Carmichael: Traditional owners in mine challenge
Our Resistance, Our Hope: Unity Statement of the International People’s Conference on Mining
Coal. A Dirty Little Rock.

Coal. A Dirty Little Rock.

  • Written on: 08 September 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
PuhiPuhi Mining Action Group tell NZ Govt to clean up sites
No Means No- Wangan and Jagalingou Peoples reject Adani’s Carmichael coal mine
Bougainville: Colonialism and mining, the long struggle for freedom
No need for mining if Bougainville gets serious about agriculture
Australias largest coal mining and energy union backs Labour Renewable Energy Target
New Zealand’s wetlands need protecting from swamp kauri mining
Fatal Extraction: Australian Mining in Africa
Delegation to argue for Tasmanian wilderness
Maori leader calls for halt to mining of ancient Kauri wood
Wangan and Jagalingou Peoples defend their land from Adani’s Carmichael Coal Mine
DAVID RASTOVICH & ZEN WALLIS TALK ABOUT SEA BED MINING PROPOSALS IN NZ
Undermining Australia-Coal vs Communities

Undermining Australia-Coal vs Communities

Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley

Start a Conversation. Share Words of Solidarity.

This website is about building a movement. We can only build a movement when we connect with one another. We invite you to do just that…

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *