Science voices needed to support Australia’s marine park

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Post submitted by the University of Australia on behalf of the Ocean Science Council of Australia.

“Five years ago Australia put in place the world’s first nationwide network of marine parks – a turning point for marine conservation. However, the Australian Government is now proposing to cut the high-level protection in the network by half. What is proposed is not science-based and will set the global endeavor of marine protection back decades. The global science voice is needed now.

I am writing to you in my capacity as a member of the Ocean Science Council of Australia (OSCA) – we are calling on the international science community to lend its names and networks to urgently encourage the Australian Government on a forward journey rather than a retrograde step that would make Australia the first nation in the world to go backwards on ocean protection. Against all evidence, the Australian Government is suggesting that its proposals are science-based. However, the science is clear that the plans should instead be increasing protection, not decreasing it.

Please join us in adding your name to the Science Statement at www.oceansciencecouncil.org/statement/ and distribute it widely through your networks of all relevant disciplines. The matter is urgent as these draft plans are now open to public consultation. The deadline for adding your name is Wednesday 13th September 2017, after which time we will publicly release the statement and its list of signatories.

OSCA is an independent group of leading Australian experts concerned with advancing marine conservation to ensure the protection of biological diversity, ecosystem health and the resulting economic and social benefits. Our members represent a range of disciplines including ecology, economics, sociology and law. A further contribution from OSCA can be found here: https://theconversation.com/australias-new-marine-parks-plan-is-a-case-of-the-emperors-new-clothes-81391.”

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