Foundations-Legislation

n 2010 Parties to the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreed to reduce the rate ofbiodiversity loss within a decade by achieving 20 objectives that are commonly known as the Aichi Targets.

This national ocean policy aims to protect and increase the value of resources of ocean and also the inherent value of the marine ecosystems and species upon which that wealth relies on.

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.

The importance of coastal and marine environments to every aspect of the lives of Pacific Islanders cannot be overstated. Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) maintain resource rights and management responsibilities for over 30 million square kilometres of ocean, equivalent to the total land area of Canada, China and the United States of America. The total population of coastal Pacific Islanders is only 2.6 million. There are 11 square kilometres of ocean for each Pacific Islander.