The Cook Islands has a greater presence on the international conservation stage.
Te Ipukarea Society member Ana Tiraa was voted in as an Oceania councillor for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
She joins Australian Brendon Mackey and Andrew Bignell from New Zealand as the three new representatives from the Oceania region.
A founding member of Te Ipukarea Society, Tiraa previously held positions in the global organisation, most notably as an executive committee member and Oceania representative on the Transboundary Specialist Group (TSG).
Her appointment came at the IUCN Congress being held in Jeju, South Korea, and sees her join an elite group of 34 other councillors worldwide.
Wearing a beautiful white dress and head ei, Tiraa spoke of the need for managing the actions of all in order for greater conservation.
“As the largest of the world’s oceans, the Pacific Ocean is vital to the survival of the entire world,” Tiraa told the assembly.
“However, it is under a number of significant threats from the impacts of climate change, and also the requirements of rapidly developing mega economies in other regions of the world for resources to fuel their growth.
“The rapid increase of invasive alien species in the Pacific Islands also presents a major threat to us. We in Oceania need to do our utmost to ensure this ocean and the islands contained within it are maintained in a state of excellent health.”
Tiraa also thanked outgoing Pacific Islands representative Robin Yarrow for all of the hard work he had done.
Meanwhile the motion created by Te Ipukarea Society and being represented by Teina Mackenzie is gaining traction ahead of the plenary.
“Having been working diligently on our motion, it goes to a contact group today before it is presented at plenary for vote, so trying to anticipate any possible opposition,” Mackenzie reported.
TIS has been actively involved in the congress even before it began after the organisation was invited to a meeting with marine networking group Big Ocean.
The Cook Islands joined representatives from the United States (Hawai’i and Washington) as well as Chile, Kiribati, New Zealand, Samoa, South Korea and the United Kingdom (UK).
- Matiu Workman – Cook Islands News