Island Nations

"And so, we must consider the rights of the ocean. For just as those who have been treated unfairly have found it necessary to fight for and claim their rights, so too has the ocean been treated with injustice and disrespect. And so now we find it necessary to fight for the rights of the ocean." - Henry Puna, Prime Minister Cook Islands.

Though island nations represent just 5.3 percent of Earth’s land area, they are home to 19% of bird species and 17% of flowering plant species.

ELC is working with partners Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Conservation International Pacific Islands Programme to create a Convention on the Rights of the Pacific Ocean to be signed by pacific island nations by 2020. The first meeting of partners and groups occurred in November 2018, and produced a Statement from the Collective Thinking of those present to be used to invite communities, business and governments to redefine their relationship with the Ocean at local, regional and global scales.

Earth Law not only addresses the direct impacts on the ocean, but makes it a legal responsibility for ocean-dependent industries to adopt holistic sustainable practices, supporting long-term ecosystem and economic stability and growth.

Contact us today to launch an initiative in your island nation. Email Ocean Rights Manager Michelle Bender at

Donate to ELC.

New Zealand by Stina Bagge

New Zealand by Stina Bagge