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Joint statement on establishment of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean, Antarctica (October 16, 2013)

Australia, the European Union, France, New Zealand and the United States jointly call for the establishment this year of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean , in the Ross Sea Region and in East Antarctica.

The establishment of such MPAs follows through on the vision expressed by all nations at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002 and the Rio+20 conference in 2012.

Since 2005, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (the Commission, CCAMLR) has worked to complete the necessary groundwork for the designation of MPAs in CCAMLR, including the establishment of a legal framework agreed by all Members and extensive scientific research.

The Ross Sea and East Antarctica regions are widely recognized for their remarkable ecological and scientific importance. The MPA proposals now before the Commission are based on sound and best available science, will provide a unique laboratory for continuation of marine research, and will have profound and lasting benefits for ocean conservation, including sustainable use of its resources.

We call on all Members of the Commission to bring years of preparation to a successful conclusion by establishing these important, science-based MPAs at the next session of the Commission in October 2013 in Hobart, Australia.

The Honorable Julie Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia
The Honorable Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, France
The Honorable Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand
The Honorable John F. Kerry, Secretary of State, United States
The Honorable Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Union


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