Cabinet has passed the Niue Moana Mahu Marine Protected Area Regulations 2020 on Tuesday, formalizing and giving legal effect to the protection of 40% of Niue’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), of 127,000 square kilometers.
The Large Scale Marine Protected Area (LSMPA) includes a Special Management Area (SMA) around and including Beveridge Reef named the “Beveridge Reef Nukutulueatama Special Management Area”
The regulations are made possible through the provisions under the Maritime Zone Legislations which was amended in August last year with the provisions to enable the Cabinet to create these regulations.
The passing of the regulations is the culmination of several years of work which began with an approach to Oceans 5 in 2015 through the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to support Niue in the development of a sustainable and integrated approach to ocean conservation and management.
This was subsequently followed by the establishment of local NGO Tofia Niue and the Public-Private partnership between the Government of Niue and Tofia Niue, represented by the Niue Ocean Wide Project and funded by Oceans 5 in mid-2016.
The main donors and partners of the Niue Government in this undertaiking are Oceans 5 and National Geographic Pristine Seas, together with the Niue Ridge to Reef (Niue R2R) Project with funding from UNDP and the Global Environment Fund UNDP/GEF.