Statement From Conservation International CEO Dr. M. Sanjayan About Australia’s Plans to Rollback Marine Protected Areas

May 8, 2018

Australia faces a critical decision on marine protection that warrants the world’s attention. For decades, Australia has been a leader in ocean conservation. Its early adoption of large-scale marine protected areas set an example for the world. The Great Barrier Reef is treasured globally and contributes directly to Australia’s massive tourism and recreation industry.

The government’s current proposal to drastically cut protections for Australia’s marine parks threatens that legacy. It would be the largest downgrading of a protected area system in history. This is the wrong path for Australia and the wrong precedent for the world. At a time when climate change threatens marine environments as never before, ocean conservation is critical to the long-term health of fishing and tourism economies worldwide. We ought to be adding protections, not removing them.

As Australia’s parliament meets again this week, I strongly encourage members to reconsider these destructive plans. And I thank the many scientists and conservationists who have raised their voices in opposition to them, both in Australia and around the world. We stand with you.

About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign and its series of virtual reality projects: “My Africa”, “Under the Canopy” and “Valen’s Reef.” Follow Conservation International’s work on our Human Nature blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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