Mangrove and woodland near the Amazon river - Salinopolis - Para - Brazil
International environment work is expanding, with important environmental and economic implications for New Zealand. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s particular role in relation to this work is to advance and protect New Zealand’s interests in international environment negotiations, working with relevant domestic agencies.
MFAT’s Environment Division (established in 1989 as part of the preparations for the Rio World Summit) leads most of the Ministry’s work in this area. A Climate Change Ambassador has been appointed to lead input to international negotiations on climate change. The Environment Division also works closely with New Zealand’s Commission to the International Whaling Commission.
Some current priority areas for MFAT are:
Governance - Representation of New Zealand views at international organisations working in different ways to protect and improve the global environment, such as the UN Environment Programme, Commission on Sustainable Development and the Global Environment Facility.
Climate change - International negotiations on future action to address climate change post-2012.
Managing the oceans and marine resources - Coordination and presentation of New Zealand’s views at international meetings on protecting the oceans and the sustainable development and wise use of marine resources.
Hazardous Substances - Presentation of New Zealand’s views in negotiations on international instruments dealing with chemicals, wastes and pollutants.
Trade and Environment - Ensuring that trade and environment policies are mutually supportive is more pressing today than ever before.
Forestry - Reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation; addressing trade in illegal timber and wood products; and capacity-building and technology transfer.
Conservation of species - Development of a New Zealand position for negotiations on various issues coming up in the context of the conservation of whales, conservation of seabirds as well as other migratory species, and trade in endangered species.
Rio + 20 - The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as “Rio+20”, was be held in Rio de Janeiro from 20-22 June 2012. It was expected to be the biggest meeting on the international calendar in 2012 and to attract high level participation.
Page last updated: Thursday, 16 August 2012 13:01 NZST