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Cook Islands UPSC NOTE

 Why in news

  • In a groundbreaking declaration earlier this month, Indigenous leaders of New Zealand and the Cook Islands signed a treaty, ‘He Whakaputanga Moana’, to recognise whales as legal persons.

  • The declaration seeks to protect the rights of whales (tohorā) to migrate freely and to use Māori knowledge’ alongside science for better protections. 

  • It also aims to set up a dedicated fund for whale conservation.

  • Over the past few hundred years, legal personhood has been developed for companies as a way for individual shareholders to avoid liability. 

  • This means a company can go to court, rather than its shareholders.

  • In the past decade, Aotearoa New Zealand has led the way in developing legal personhood for things in nature into a tool used as part of settlements under Treaty of Waitangi

  • It is important to note that these ideas have been recognised and implemented by the Crown in partnership with Māori.

  • As part of the signing of the Tūhoe settlement in 2014, the former national park Te Urewera was granted legal personhood. 

  • In 2017, legal personhood for the Whanganui river was also part of a settlement. 

  • And last year, this idea was extended to Mount Taranaki. 

  • These natural features are now not owned by people or the Crown, but by themselves.

  • Legal personhood has been praised in New Zealand and overseas by people interested in using it to protect the environment.

Cook Islands

  • The Cook Islands is an island country in Polynesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. 

  • It consists of 15 islands 

  • The Cook Islands' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 1,960,027 square kilometres of ocean.

  • Avarua is its capital

Cook Islands



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Cook Islands UPSC NOTE
Cook Islands UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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