On Tuesday 8 June government agencies celebrated World Ocean Day. Held at the Maire Nui grounds, the event included eight agencies and departments with informational booths on their role in the ocean space. These were Marae Moana, Seabed Minerals Authority, Ministry of Marine Resources, Ministry of Transport, National Environment Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Climate Change Division, and the Hydrography Division of Infrastructure Cook Islands.
Prime Minister Mark Brown spoke at the event about the strong connection the Cook Islands has with its Marae Moana, adding it was fitting to celebrate the day. “It is a day to come together and reaffirm our commitment to protecting our ocean, not just for today, but also for tomorrow – for our children and grandchildren” said Prime Minister Brown.
His words reinforced this year’s global theme of ‘Life and Livelihoods’ – reminding the audience of how important the Marae Moana is to livelihoods, providing people with a source of food, income, and many ecosystem services. Marae Moana Ambassador Kevin Iro also reiterated the importance of everyone taking their role as ocean stewards seriously.
Avarua Primary School students attended the event and made the most of the opportunity to learn more from the agencies. The event was also a good lead-up to the Ministry of Education’s careers expo taking place next week on 17 June.
The World Ocean Day event was an opportunity for the public to see the work that the government agencies were doing to ensure that the Marae Moana is healthy, and will continue to sustain the life and livelihoods of people in the Cook Islands into the future.
The work of those involved in the ocean space range from negotiating the best outcomes for fisheries, climate finance, maritime transport, and seabed minerals, to combatting biodiversity decline, pollution, climate change, and plastic. From building and maintaining beneficial relationships with regional and international partners, to securing the Cook Islands maritime boundaries and the resources within them.
Meitaki maata to everyone who took part in the celebration and supported the event including the Office of the Prime Minister, Cook Islands Investment Corporation, Ministry of Cultural Development, CookSafe and Vodafone Cook Islands, as well as the local food vendors.
Queries regarding this release can be directed to Maria Tuoro