Each day during the month of April, the Institute will feature one of the 30 ‘perspectives’ from the One Ocean report. These short articles include a diverse range of views regarding oceans management in New Zealand. Enjoy!
Stuart Prior, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Belarus in New Zealand, Prior Group
Internationalising New Zealand’s ocean opportunity
Antarctica, the Southern Ocean around it and the South Pacific Ocean are of immense importance to our planet. New Zealand’s unique geography positions us as a focal point for the collection, study and dissemination of authentic information about Earth’s last frontier. It is both an opportunity and a responsibility for us to take the initiative, with vision and imagination, to create opportunities for international scientists and educationalists and the ‘tellers of tales’ to work here in New Zealand on oceans and polar issues of planetary significance.
The vastness of the oceanic environment which shapes our country and our lives is difficult to grasp. Oceans are to us what land is for Russia. Remarkably, the vertical north–south distance from Suwarrow Atoll in the Northern Cook Islands to Scott Base in the Ross Sea Region (7,370 kilometres) is almost identical to the horizontal west–east distance of the colossal continent of Russia, from Kaliningrad to the Commander Islands (7,449 kilometres).
New Zealand has, as never before, new opportunities to inform the international debate about the future of our oceanic environment and polar regions and, thereby, the future of mankind. To do this requires an emphasis on international science, education and communications, and it requires outreach based on the most rigorous principles of authenticity and integrity.
Virtual access is an extraordinary new tool for informing and engaging. Today’s most trusted international intermediaries may not be politicians and diplomats but the researchers and creative storytellers hosted and nurtured in New Zealand, who can bring personality and therefore life to Earth’s life-giving oceans.