Pacific Activists Working To Protect Natural Resources

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Monitoring will keep tabs on agreements from overseas companies

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 23, 2012) – Pacific Island activists are fine-tuning plans to vet large overseas companies’ access to the region’s natural resources.

A New Zealand-based researcher and activist, Ali’itasi Stewart, says the development of agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership and the international accounting framework, the SEEA, have spurred like-minded activists around the region into action.

She says the plan is to set up a think tank as well as a monitoring agency made up of local decision-makers aimed at better protecting the interests of small island nations.

"Basically it will actually stop quick agreements being drawn up and it will also monitor what these conglomerates are actually doing in the Pacific so just ensuring that the fishing industry is not overfished, the mining is at a sustainable rate, that the environment is actually returned back to its natural state."

Ali’itasi Stewart says they are trying to get agreement from Pacific Island countries to take part in the monitoring agency which she hopes will be operating within five years.

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