Submitted by admin on Wed, 01/21/2015 - 00:46
January 21, 2015 by admin
General News
20 January 2014, Rarotonga, Cook Islands - The wheels are turning in the Cook Islands as a "50 days for 50 years" bicycle and walking initiative commences as part of the island nation’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations.

 "A family registering for the #CK50450, photo courtesy of Climate Change Cook Islands."

This clean, green activity ends on 7 August but can easily run the full year. It has called upon residents to commit to allocating a minimum of 50 days this year to riding a bicycle or walking to work and school, promoting a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and advocating for a healthy environment and people in this 50th anniversary year and beyond.

The 50th independence anniversary of the Cook Islands falls on 4 August this year, however a year of activities and events will unfold as the island nation celebrates this milestone anniversary.

This year is also significant globally as the world gears up for a new climate change agreement to be signed off by December this year to help lower greenhouse gas emissions.  With the Cook Islands being one of the many small islands that are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, every action helps.

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"Registration for the #CK50450 at the Punanga Nui Market in the Cook Islands, photo courtesy of Climate Change Cook Islands."

"SPREP congratulates the Cook Islands on their 50th Anniversary this year. These significant milestones are always a special time for countries and we're pleased that an environmentally friendly activity has been embraced as part of this special year," commented Mr. David Sheppard, the Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

"Many of our Pacific island members are doing great work to help protect our environment, and this is just one example. It's a great start to the year and to their 50th Celebration campaign, encouraging people to ride bicycles and to get a nation moving, bringing about a better environment.  Awesome work, Cook Islands!"

Registration for the #CK50450 activity opened on Saturday 18 January on Rarotonga with a special obstacle course for those on bikes as well as the distribution of calendar forms to help participants track each of the 50 days they use bicycles or walk to work or school instead of using vehicles.  There was an overwhelming positive response from residents who registered to be part of this year long event.

"Cycling through the obstacle course at the #CK50450, photo courtesy of Climate Change Cook Islands."

 “Riding a bicycle is a much more pleasant way to really look at the island and fully appreciate nature’s gift. We've also noticed an increase in vehicles on Rarotonga and our vision is that through this campaign we'll help reconnect locals with their environment, and reduce reliability on fuel, thus lowering greenhouse gas emissions," said Ms. Ana Tiraa, Head of the Cook Islands Climate Change Division.

"This is just the start of a way to encourage cleaner and greener modes of transport in the Cook Islands."

Activities will also take place this year to encourage more to register and to help keep the momentum of this #CK50450 activity rolling.

Incorporating an environmentally friendly activity in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Cook Islands was a key part of the planning with strong environmental practices being part and parcel of Cook Islands culture.

"A strong response to the #CK50450 activity from Cook Island residents, photo courtesy of Climate Change Cook Islands."

"We are celebrating 50 years of being Cook Island people as a whole; our culture is infused with respecting and protecting our environment and we believe this initiative is one way to commemorate this aspect of our culture and help keep fit!" added Mr. Nick Henry, the Chairman of the 50th Cook Islands celebration steering committee.

For more information on the Cook Islands 50th Celebration activities please visit: