Tuesday 9 April 2024

Whales have human rights decrees Māori king

NEWS/OPINION: The latest news in the world of wild species conservation is that whales will be recognised as legal persons under a declaration signed by New Zealand's Maori king together with native leaders across the Pacific.

The declaration has been signed last week by the King, Te Arikinui Tuheitia Paki, together with 15 paramount chiefs of Tahiti and the Cook Islands. It will need the backing of the government's to be enforceable.

Whales have human rights decrees Māori king
A merging of the 2 elements of this story: human rights and whales by an AI computer DALLE 3    

Nonetheless, it is a recognition of the sentience of whales and the fact that they need to be protected. The document seeks to protect the rights of whales including "freedom of movement, cultural expression (which includes language), a healthy environment, healthy oceans and indeed the restoration of their populations." Those are the words of a Maori conservationist Mere Takoko.

The concept of "legal personhood" endows rights and duties and the status enjoyed by humans but a status which is rarely extended to other entities.

There is a current moratorium on commercial whaling which started in 1985 but whales are still hunted by Norwegians and Icelanders. The Japanese also hunt whales but under the guise of research which to almost everybody looks like a rather feeble excuse to continue to kill whales for consumption.

2017 New Zealand granted personhood status to the Whanganui River Because of Its Importance to Indigenous People. And in 2014 New Zealand for the first two grants personhood to an ecosystem in New Zealand's North Island : Te Urewera ranges.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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