Whales granted legal personhood in historic declaration

Whales recognized as legal personality: Maori leaders have signed a historic agreement that guarantees protection to these cetaceans so fundamental to the ecosystem and to the traditions of the indigenous communities of the Pacific

Whales are not just extraordinary creatures of the seas but are now also recognized as subjects of rights. In an unprecedented move, the leaders of the Maori communities have granted whales legal personhood through a declaration.

This treaty, known as He Whakaputanga Moana, translated as “Declaration for the Ocean,” was signed by 17 Pacific leaders. It acknowledges various rights for whales, including the right to freedom of movement and the right to live and thrive in a healthy environment.

The agreement, ratified at the end of March, aims to strengthen the protection of whales, outlining actions to ensure these water giants are adequately safeguarded in today’s world and in the future.

Among the initiatives are the creation of an organization that coordinates conservation efforts based on the knowledge of Polynesian communities and the establishment of protected areas for whales. The Maori indigenous tribes will serve as their guardians.

Called tohorā in Maori, whales are keepers of ancient traditions and are highly regarded. According to Maori culture, it was these cetaceans that guided their ancestors across the Pacific Ocean with their songs.

However, these sounds will be lost if urgent action is not taken. The Declaration intends to address this by creating a network that collaborates with the governments of New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, and other Polynesian countries to counter the threats that whales face.

These threats include climate change and ocean pollution. With this treaty, the Maori leaders provide future generations with all the tools needed to protect these magnificent animals, which play a crucial role in the ecosystem.

“He Whakaputanga Moana is a declaration for the generations to come. Our mokopuna (descendants) deserve to inherit an ocean teeming with life, where the songs of whales continue to resonate through the vast blue expanse,” stated Maori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII.

Condividi su Whatsapp Condividi su Linkedin