National marine reserves get international endorsement

Representatives at the World Conservation Congress in South Korea have given a ringing endorsement to the Federal Government’s proposed marine reserve network.

The Congress, at its session in Jeju, Republic of Korea, passed a motion to:

    • congratulate the Australian Government for its landmark announcement to establish the largest national network of marine reserves in the world, one of the most significant advances for marine environmental protection in Australia’s history;
    • urge the Australian Government to proclaim the network of marine reserves swiftly; and
    • urge the global community to support similar initiatives that establish networks of marine reserves, informed by sound science and in accordance with IUCN’s vision and mission.

      The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Healthy Oceans Campaigner Chris Smyth said the motion showed the Federal Government was on the right track by protecting oceans.

      “As a developed country with a bounty of ocean life, Australia should act as a role model and pave the way for other countries to protect their own waters.

      “This strong international endorsement comes just after 80,000 people sent submissions of support for the reserve network during its public comment period, which closed last week.

      “Australians like the marine plan – seven out of 10 respondents in an Essential Media poll gave it their support; now the international community has commended it too.

      “ACF urges the Federal Government to move quickly to proclaim the network and expects the proclamation will receive bipartisan support, like every other major oceans conservation decision in this country to date,” Mr Smyth said.


      The IUCN World Conservation Congress is the world’s largest and most important conservation event. Held every four years, it aims to improve how we manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development.  The 2012 World Conservation Congress was held from 6 to 15 September 2012 in Jeju, Republic of Korea. Leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organisations, business, UN agencies and social organisations discussed, debated and decided solutions for the world’s most pressing environment and development issues.