Niue’s pioneering efforts on ocean conservation recognized in World Changing Ideas Awards

Photo credits: Nick Perry/TBC News

Niue’s Ocean Conservation Commitments, commonly known as OCCs, has won the ‘Nature’ category of the Fast Company’s 2024 World Changing Ideas Awards. 

This was confirmed and announced on Tuesday evening, marking a historical point for Niue’s OCCs and Conservation International. 

Ocean Conservation Commitments is an innovative financing mechanism that helps fund the protection of 1 square kilometre of Niue’s ocean waters for 20 years, as well as leverage the development of Niue’s broader climate resilient natural environment and blue economy.  

The OCC’s is programmed under Niue Ocean Wide (NOW) which is Niue’s first public-private partnership between the Government of Niue and local non-profit organisation Tofia Niue. 

Premier Dalton Tagelagi congratulated the team for a groundbreaking achievement. 

Premier of Niue Hon. Dalton Tagelagi.

NOW President Coral Pasisi says “this makes significant commitments to conservation, like Niue’s Moana Mahu – 127,000 square kms of pristine Pacific Ocean, a very valuable contribution by the small nation of Niue and her people, to the global environment.”

“Maintaining the protection of this large natural asset at the same time as fighting the impacts of climate change is not easy for a small country.”

“That is why we developed the Ocean Conservation Commitments (OCCs) to allow others to contribute in a fair and transparent way.”

Fast Company website on the 2024 World Changing Ideas Awards finalists

Since it was first launched in New York in September last year, the OCCs have gained considerable attraction across the globe with sponsorships from 21 countries.

In an interview with Niue Ocean Wide President Coral Pasisi, she says that they have raised a total of $7.5 million dollars of sponsorships for OCCs. 

Niue Ocean Wide President Coral Pasisi

Coral says that NOW has been deeply supported by Conservation International for the development and launch of the OCCs. 

According to Blue Nature Alliance Regional Officer Mael Imirizaldu, this is a really big deal, as there’s only one winner per category. This is the very first time they have won a category.

Coral also shared her thoughts on the impact of OCCs on a global level, referring to its achievement in winning the Nature Category. 

“This has been a joint effort but very much driven by local thought leaders and the community of Niue who have grown up in the ocean and continue to explore the best ways we can support its longevity, not just for our children but all children around the world,” says Coral. 

Follow the Niue Ocean Wide website for more information.

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