Oil being pumped off the stricken container ship Rena, grounded on the Astrolabe reef in the Bay of Plenty. Photo: Maritime NZ
WITH the Rena still precariously balanced on New Zealand’s Astrolabe Reef – an environmental catastrophe that has hit the Bay of Plenty coastline – it doesn’t take much imagination to envisage the sort of damage that could be done to fragile Pacific ecosystems in the wake of a similar disaster. Special report by Kim Austinfor Pacific Scoop.
Although there has been much talk about the problem of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the Pacific over recent months, anti-landmine campaigners are worried the New Zealand government may be looking to downgrade its aid commitment to the region.
This, combined with pressure from the US government on the handful of Pacific nations yet to sign the Mine Ban Treaty, is causing concern for NGOs working in the Pacific.