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Joint Statement on the Establishment of Marine Protected Areas

Published October 16, 2013

On October 16, 2013, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, France, New Zealand, the United States and The Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Union released a joint statement on establishing marine protected areas in Southern Ocean, in the Ross Sea Region and in East Antarctica, for scientific research and ocean conservation.

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 MP, Minister for 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 Kerry, Secretary of State, United States

The Honorable Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries on behalf of the European Union