Tag Archives: New Zealand

4 November 2013

Negotiations to protect the Antarctic ocean ecosystem break down

Negotiations held in Hobart, Tasmania by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources failed to reach an agreement to protect the ocean ecosystem in the Antarctic. The United States and New Zealand proposed a 500,000 square mile reserve in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. Australia, France, and the European Union proposed a network of protected areas in the eastern Antarctic region. Both proposals were blocked due to the resistance of Russia, China, and Ukraine. Agreement between twenty-four members of the Commission and the European Union is required for the adoption of a proposal.

The resisting states argue that such reserves would cut off their access to fish stocks and undermine the fishing industries. However, fisheries scientists state that the reserves would help protect and restore the ecosystem from depletion caused by overfishing, pollution, and climate change. Yuri Onodera, climate adviser for Friends of the Earth Japan and attendee at the conference, stated, ‘once again, national interests and politics are a hurdle to the international interest of protecting the environment.’

Source: New York Times | Talks on Antarctic Marine Reserve Fail to Reach Agreement

26 September 2013

Climate change refugee claim denied in New Zealand

A man from the Pacific island of Kiribati was denied a claim for refugee status based on climate change grounds.

The New Zealand Tribunal said that ‘there is no evidence establishing that the environmental conditions that he faced or is likely to face on return are so parlous that his life will be placed in jeopardy’ and that ‘the appellant’s claim under the Refugee Convention must necessarily fail because the effects of environmental degradation on his standard of living were, by his own admission, faced by the population generally’.

Kiribati is a small island threatened by the rise of sea levels whose government has urged international efforts to support small countries in climate change issues.

Source: Australia Network News | Kiribati man's claim as a climate change refugee denied in New Zealand