NES joins training on environment law and prepare for BBNJ ratification

The Cook Islands National Focal Point for the Programme, Roselyn Strickland from the National Environmental Service (“NES”) attended the back-to-back meeting at UNEP’s Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
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NES attended the Fifth Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environment Law (“Montevideo Programme V”) and the Global Training on the Agreement under UNCLOS on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (“BBNJ Agreement”). The Cook Islands National Focal Point for the Programme, Roselyn Strickland from the National Environmental Service (“NES”) attended the back-to-back meeting at UNEP’s Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

According to Ms. Strickland, the Montevideo Programme evolved overtime since the early 1980 under UNEP’s Law Division that allows countries to raise environmental issues to promote the development and implementation of environmental rule of law in strengthening capacities in countries and to contribute to the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda. Cook Islands and Tonga were the only two Pacific Countries who attended the Meeting and Training. Some of the key issues discussed at the meeting include the Programme’s Work plan, Implementation Activities and Periodic Review of Environment Law, the necessity of Stakeholder Engagement and the Steering Committee.

Furthermore, running subsequently to the Montevideo meeting was a Training on the BBNJ Agreement which the Intergovernmental Conference adopted by consensus on 19 June 2023. Facilitated by UNEP’s Law Division together with the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UN Office of Legal Affairs (OLA)) and the UNEP Ecosystems Division, and with the participation of the OLA Treaty Section. The training discussed the BBNJ framework and the measures at the national and regional level to support countries that are yet to sign- up on the Agreement and also the effective implementation in the future of the Agreement.

Lastly, the meeting on the Montevideo Programme V and the BBNJ training are interrelated to ensure strengthening of environment legal framework with emphasis on the triple planetary crises and accessing technical capacity and resources countries. Other, The Cook Islands will continue its participation and to highlight the significance of the meeting outcomes translated into local context.

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The National Environment Service is established to protect, conserve and ensure the Cook Islands environment is managed sustainably. The agency is headed by a Director with delegated powers to carry out the functions of the Environment Act 2003.

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