Cook Islands, Prime Minister PUNA, MAPS, Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary

Cook Islands Joins MAPS Leaders For A Healthy World

β€œWe cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis.”

The words of fifteen-year-old activist Greta Thunberg struck to the heart of the problem facing humanity today. We are experiencing an underreported ecological and humanitarian crisis as the polar ice melts and the world warms up. The only sane response is swift and comprehensive action. If we do not recognize that we have a crisis, then how will we solve it?

The urgency of our global situation inspired two volunteers to travel to Katowice, Poland on their own time and finances to move forward MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. MAPS is an urgently needed, refreshingly simple and effective response to the crisis we face today. It not only turns the Arctic Ocean into the biggest conservation area the world has yet seen. It creates a global shift to sustainability on all levels and inspires a change from short term gain for a few to the long term good for all.

Emboldened by love for our world and the wish to stop global suffering, Director of Strategic Initiatives Darcy Belanger and General Counsel Vandana Ryder spoke with heads of government from all over the world about the urgency of MAPS. In a short period of days, they met with the representatives of over 40 nations and placed the MAPS Treaty directly into the hands of many leaders. In addition, they met with several key UN staff, and countless members of civil society.

Darcy says, β€œThere was a remarkable degree of receptivity to MAPS among those in attendance at COP24 compared to COP21, COP22, and COP23. Many nations, particularly the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), are experiencing ever-increasing dangers of climate change and, while remaining committed to the Paris Agreement, are fearful that the pace of progress will not be sufficient to avoid catastrophic losses of all kinds (human life and suffering, economic, infrastructure, culture, food and water supply).”

Showing the ongoing leadership from Small Island Developing States, Prime Minister Henry Puna of Cook Islands signed the MAPS Treaty on the spot. Prime Minister Puna joins Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi as a MAPS signatory. The Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary Treaty is an addendum to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It enters into force with the signatures of 99 UN member nations.

We owe sincere gratitude and respect to the Small Island Developing States who are courageously leading the call to protect our world. Though they have done the least to contribute to the changes facing our world today, they face some of the most severe effects. They understand that the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary does not just protect the Arctic Ocean. It protects them, and all of life. Let’s join them wholeheartedly, as well as the bold young leaders like Greta Thunberg, in standing up for a healthy world. is a not-for-profit dedicated to a healthy world. Its first order
of business is the realization of MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary,
an effective step to cool our planet and keep our oceans alive.