Niue Premier Dalton Tagelagi
December 15, 2022
Island and Ocean Ecosystems

14 December 2022, Montreal Canada - As negotiations to finalise a global framework to conserve the world’s biodiversity continue in Montreal Canada, Niue, a small Pacific country with unique waters and home to globally significant marine ecosystems, has used the spotlight of COP15 to share their experience in transforming the way they are protecting their ocean space.

Niue is one of the first countries to commit to sustainably managing 100% of waters in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and has established a large scale no-take Marine Protected Area, the Niue Moana Mahu, constituting 40% of Niue's EEZ, which is about 127,000 km².

The Pacific island nation showcased the Niue Ocean Wide (NOW) Trust, an initiative that Niue hopes will secure sustainable financing for development of the blue economy and ocean conservation by launching a first-of-its-kind “conservation credit,” the Ocean Conservation Credit (OCC).

Speaking during a side-event on the margins of COP15, Niue Premier, Hon. Dalton Tagelagi, said Niue is a small country but it has a large ocean estate. It is for this reason that Niue cares deeply for the ocean and biodiversity conservation and finds the current global state of the environment unacceptable.

“The way in which the world has undervalued the importance of nature in planetary stability is extremely concerning, and one that we must collectively remedy,” Hon. Tagelagi said. “All of our contributions are critical, from individuals, communities, nations, corporations, organisations and the private sector. We need to work in partnership, to mount meaningful, equitable and sustainable responses.”

At the Niue side event

An example of this in action is NOW, implemented under the public private partnership arrangement with Tofia Niue, a local not-for-profit organisation. NOW forms the basis of a fit for purpose financing mechanism to support Niue's Ocean conservation, resilience and sustainability into the future. In addition to direct donations and other funding mechanisms, a principle means to raise funding to capitalise the Trust will be through the launching of OCC.

“It is an approach that seeks to appreciate the true value of protected ocean and leverage the necessary resources to build a resilient and sustainable blue economy around this that reinforces its health and critical ecosystem services to ensure this is sustainable in perpetuity,” Hon. Tagelagi said.

NOW is underpinned by five fundamental principles, including that ocean conservation must be compatible with blue economy opportunities, that our large ocean space under strict protection generates multiple dimensions of value and, as people benefit from ocean protection, it is only fair that we should all contribute to its protection.

“To generate the necessary scale of finance for large scale ocean protection, and broader conservation purposes, from the range of sources available we are finalizing work on an environmental funding mechanism. This mechanism will allow individuals, governments donors, philanthropic organisations and corporations to directly contribute in a way that is shared, sustainable and transparent,” said Hon. Tagelagi, referring to OCC.

Premier Dalton Tagelagi and SPREP DG Sefanaia Nawadra

Niue aims to launch the Trust and OCC in early 2023.

“Niue would appreciate your support to our Trust and/or sponsorship of some of Niue’s Ocean Conservation Credits. As the Trust is still in the course of being established, initial donations, including the expressions of support and indicative pledges for the OCC are welcome,” Hon. Tagelagi said.  “Your support is critical in helping us unlock many other potential sponsors. This is a transformational approach for us, and one founded on the principle of inter-generational equity, and collective responsibility for our shared blue ocean states.”

To find out more about the Niue Ocean Wide (NOW) Trust, visit:

The Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) is held in Montreal, Canada from 7 – 19 December 2022.  Chaired by the Government of China, the CBD COP15 will result in a new Global Biodiversity Framework that will continue the 2020 Biodiversity Targets with the global goal of halting biodiversity loss.

Fourteen Pacific Islands countries are Party to the CBD. They are contributing to a unified One Pacific Voice on collective issues at COP15. The countries present in Montreal are the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), support to Pacific island countries has been implemented with technical input through the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT),  and includes a One Pacific approach involving support from the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner, and the Pacific Community at COP15 with financial assistance from the Government of Australia and the ACP MEA Phase 3 Project funded by the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States for the ACP countries. 

For more information on the CBD COP15 please visit: or email [email protected]