Foundations-Legislation

An act to amend the marine pollution Act 1992 to update the Act and to ensure that there is compliance with current marine pollution related convention, and for related purposes

The Cook Islands signed the Convention on Biological Diversity at the Earth Summit in 1992. As a Party to the Convention, the Cook Islands Government committed itself and its people to conserve its biodiversity, to use it in a sustainable manner, and to share its benefits in an equitable manner. It also committed itself to control invasive species (the weeds and pest animals in natural ecosystems and agricultural systems), and to reduce the likelihood of future invasions.

This document is a product of the GEF-PAS regional invasive species project 'Prevention, control and management of invasive alien species in the Pacific Islands' implemented by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and executed by SPREP.

Invasive species are a major global threat to biodiversity and Pacific Islands are particularly vulnerable due to their isolation and relatively recent human occupation. Their native species cannot cope with predation or competition from new arrivals. Niue already suffers from the impact of invasive species that have arrived in the country. However there are many more devastating species that are not present but found in other countries of the region and every effort needs to be made to prevent their arrival.

National or Territory Invasive Species Strategies and Action Plans (NISSAP) are a critical document to ensure invasive species management is coordinated within a country or territory and that the different sectors involved with invasive species management are working together toward the same goals. NISSAP are essential to show political will for managing invasive species and are looked upon favourably by funding bodies.

This document builds on lessons learned from 10 years of DEC-MNRE action on the myna issue, training workshops on invasive species management, a 2015 myna population transect survey (conservative estimate of total population in Samoa between 129,407 and 188,583 birds), appropriate literature and experiences in Pacific and other countries. Recommendations are made on strategies and the priority information needed to implement those strategies.

As we experienced with the Taro Leaf Blight outbreak in the 1990s, the introduction of exotic pests or diseases into Samoa can have disasterous effects on our people and on our economy.