New Antarctic conservation laws adopted

Adelie penguins on bergy bit near Davis station
Adelie penguins on bergy bit near Davis station. (Photo: AAD)

Australia has adopted new laws to improve the conservation of Antarctic animals and plants.

The Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Amendment Act 2010 will implement into domestic law amendments relating to the conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora under Annex II of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Environmental Protocol).

The changes include improved conservation of specially protected species, tighter restrictions on the taking of native invertebrates and better regulation on the introduction of alien species to Antarctica.

The Environmental Protocol is a multilateral agreement under the Antarctic Treaty which commits parties to the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment and its dependent and associated ecosystems, and designates Antarctica as a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science.

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