Submitted by sharon.manickaraj on Wed, 09/08/2021 - 17:21

Sue Taei is of New Zealand and Samoan heritage and has worked to advance Pacific conservation throughout the region for over 30 years. With degrees from the University of Auckland and the University of Waikato, she has supported, designed and championed many conservation initiatives including the protection of marine mammals, turtles, birds, management of invasive species, the creation and implementation of large and small scale protected areas, and development of the Framework for the Pacific Oceanscape.

For more than a decade, she supported the design and operation of one of the world’s largest Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Kiribati’s Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA). She also facilitated PIPA’s inscription as a World Heritage site including fostering the sister-site agreement between PIPA and Papahānaumokuākea, enabling both Pacific sites to be inscripted in the same year. Building upon that sister-site agreement, Sue joined forces with the managers of the region’s other large-scale MPAs (LSMPAs) to create Big Ocean, a network of LSMPA managers that was instrumental in delivering peer-to-peer learning and rapidly increasing the number of LSMPAs established globally.

Sue has served as the Executive Director of Conservation International’s (CI) Pacific Islands Programme since 2009, helped establish the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) New Zealand programme, and held roles at Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Pew Foundation, the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Sue also served as a founding member of the Pacific Islands Round Table of Nature Conservation.

A Sue Taei Ocean Fellowship has been established in honour of Sue’s legacy that she left behind through her ocean championing and advocacy for Pacific Island communities. The Fellowship’s aim is to uplift voices and support Indigenous Pasifika Women who are doing amazing things for their communities through social enterprise and innovation, professional development and training and education

This category is sponsored by Conservational International.


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Sue Taei