CANBERRA, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Australia called for the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean, in the Ross Sea Region and in East Antarctica this year in a joint statement with the European Union, France, New Zealand and the United States on Wednesday.
According to the statement from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, 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 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20.
"The Ross Sea and East Antarctica regions are widely recognized for their remarkable ecological and scientific importance," she said.
Bishop confirmed that the MPA proposals now before the Commission are based on sound and best available science. It 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.
According to her, 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.
"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," Bishop said in the statement.