Prime Minister Henry Puna invited Sue Taei of Conservation International (CI) to the Cook Islands to share her experience with establishing large scale marine parks.
Sue has been heavily involved with establishing the 400,000 km2 Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA).
CI already supports TIS with work to identify Important Bird Areas and Key Biodiversity Areas in the Cook Islands.
A well-known photograph by Greenpeace is used in Kevin Iro’s marine park proposal presentation.
The Prime Minister hosted a meeting on 12 July with Sue and key stakeholders to learn of Sue’s experience in establishing PIPA.
Key stakeholders included TIS, Carmel Beattie, (Tourism), Ben Ponia (MMR), Vaitoti Tupa (NES), Tou Ariki (Are Ariki), Tekeu Framhein (Koutu Nui) and Wilkie Rassmussen (member of the opposition party).
Tim Carruthers, the Coastal and Marine Advisor from the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) was also in attendance.