Delegation of the European Union to Australia

Antarctica: EU leads efforts to designate new large-scale Marine Protected Areas

30/09/2021 - 06:37
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EU's push for greater international engagement for Marine Protected Areas in Australia's oceanic neighbourhood.

On 29 September, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, hosted a ministerial meeting to build further support for designating new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean. The meeting took place ahead of the 40th annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR, 18-29 October) and served to coordinate the actions of the co-sponsors. New co-sponsors were also announced during the meeting. Commissioner Sinkevičius said: “At this ministerial meeting we are reaffirming EU’s commitment to preserve the rich and vulnerable marine life of the Southern Ocean. It is now more imperative than ever to act to turn the tide, as biodiversity loss and climate change are affecting fragile ecosystems at an unprecedented pace. Many countries worldwide have acknowledged this urgency and have already become co-sponsor of the new Marine Protected Areas, but we need all CCAMLR members to join.” On 28 April 2021, Commissioner Sinkevičius hosted a first ministerial meeting, where new members joined as advocates of the East Antarctica and Weddell Sea MPA proposals. In the face of the current biodiversity loss and climate change crises, the EU once again calls on all CCAMLR members to take decisive action to conserve the unique and rich biodiversity and ecosystems of the Southern Ocean.

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