.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



Whaling : NZ capable of respecting Pacific stance on sustainable resource use?

The Pacific Islands Forum says in it's vision statement that it seeks, inter alia
"a Pacific region that is respected for ... the sustainable management of its resources"
Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu have all made clear their support for the sustainable management of marine resources, the Solomon Islands is home to peoples who utilise small cetacean resources, and the Marshall Islands also has declared it's interest in international forums related to conservation of marine resources (apparently they eat turtles there - didn't know that!).

So remind me, where does New Zealand stand in all of this? Perfect timing - NZ Foreign Minister Winston Peters has just told the UN that
New Zealand had a commitment to the Pacific Islands Forum goal of a "region that is respected for the quality of its governance, the sustainable management of its resources, the full observance of democratic values and for its defence and promotion of human rights".

This sounds promising - New Zealand agrees with the idea of sustainable management of resources, just like it's neighbours in the Pacific Islands Forum. Perhaps New Zealand may display a more enlightened stance at next year's IWC meeting, in line with this commitment?

Winston also however made an interesting indirect reference to the situation at the IWC:
"New Zealand is determined to seek out the benefits of the Pacific's significance and guard against the threats – among which I include chequebook diplomacy."
These comments are interesting from Winston. They seem to be largely compatible with the recent comments of Tuvaluan Prime Minister Maatia Toafa protesting suggestions from Murray McCully that New Zealand should seek to tie aid to votes:
"We are an aid-dependent country and we feel that we should be left to make our decisions without any influences"
Rightly so. Winston also passed comment on McCully's musings himself:
Peters, who heads the country’s NZ$160 million Pacific aid programme, said New Zealand will “respect Pacific Islands countries as sovereign nations who make their own policy decisions.”

“Our preference is to talk with countries to understand their perspectives, rather than simply telling them they are wrong,” he said.
Commendable. Winston presumably also thus supports the comments of Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority, Glen Joseph made prior to the IWC 58 meeting, which noted that the Marshall Islands would make decisions
"on our own grounds and our own judgement of how the issues are presented at the commission"
Winston presumably also accepts the 2005 call from Tuvalu that they be left to make their own decisions free of pressure.

We can but wait and see whether the rest of New Zealand's politicians and excitable media are able to develop such good sense prior to the IWC 59 meeting in 2007.

* * *

Winston made some comments on the whaling issue when speaking in Japan recently:
Responding to a question on the controversial topic of whaling, which has drawn strong comments from both Japan and New Zealand, the minister said he understood the description of the issue as a cultural one.

"My people have been in New Zealand over a thousand years," said Peters, who is half Maori. "We didn't just arrive there yesterday. And the indigenous people of New Zealand are Maori and they ate whales."

"We used to eat our pigeons too, and our kiwis and all our rare birds ... but we stopped because their numbers were diminishing. Not that we don't have a sweet tooth for that sort of food, but we just thought that with the interests long term and the character of our country, and these birds being important to us, we should change our ways."

"We make far more money out of taking tourists to watch whales, including thousands of Japanese tourists, than we'll ever make out of selling it as a fish meat on the market."

One gets the impression that IWC meetings would proceed a little more smoothly and rationally if Winston were representing us there instead of our current delegation.

Labels: ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home


June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   January 2010   February 2010   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   February 2011   March 2011   May 2013   June 2013  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?