Thirty years ago, Australia and France led the world to ban mining in the Antarctic – a monumental achievement that should make every Australian immensely proud.
Now Antarctica and its incredible marine life desperately need our leadership again.
Thanks to thousands of Australians calling for a big new marine park for the Antarctic, Australia – with France and the European Union – is now leading the charge.
As Australians, we are responsible for looking after the largest ‘slice’ of Antarctica: the East Antarctic – a haven for Adelie penguins and one of the most untouched, important places on Earth.
But this incredible natural wonder is under threat from industrial fishing by distant nations, and the ever-advancing menace of climate change.
Twenty-five of the world’s nations jointly manage the Antarctic, but not all of them have yet agreed to create the East Antarctic Marine Park. As one of the three sponsors of the proposal, Australia’s leadership will be essential to drive the diplomatic push at the highest levels that is needed over the next year to get this over the line.
Australia changed the fate of the Antarctic once before – from potential mega mine to a ‘natural reserve, devoted to peace and science.’ This is our next big opportunity.
Together, we’ve overcome a massive hurdle by making sure Australia is taking the lead. Now let’s keep up the momentum to make the East Antarctic Marine Park a reality – and give our Antarctic marine life the protection it urgently needs.
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We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which our offices stand and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.