In November 2012, Australia expanded its marine protected area estate to some 3.2 million square kilometres, covering around 36 per cent of the waters within Australias jurisdiction, making it the largest representative marine protected areas network in the world.
Australia has exceeded target 14.5 to conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas and has delivered on the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+10) commitment to establish representative networks of marine protected areas by 2012.
The Australian Government is committed to maintaining the National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas. Marine protected areas are important to ensure the ongoing health of our marine biodiversity, as well as enabling sustainable use and access to marine resources.
To ensure appropriate management of Commonwealth marine reserves into the future, the Director of National Parks has commenced the statutory process to prepare new management plans for reserves in the South-west, North-west, North and Temperate East Networks and the Coral Sea.
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Comprehensive compliance and enforcement arrangements for the marine reserves covering 36 per cent of Australia's marine jurisdiction.
A monitoring and evaluation framework that will enable the Director of National Parks to monitor, evaluate and review the impacts and effectiveness of the area-based Commonwealth marine reserves around the country.
Digital and Online Reserve Management Systemsuser-friendly map-based interfaces to a) assist users in understanding science, biodiversity and what users can see and do in reserves and b) demonstrate through geospatial layers and links to other information the science underpinning the reserves and the science/research relevant to the reserves.
Environmental, economic and social baseline studies.