The UK Government in London overnight welcomed Australia’s membership of the Global Ocean Alliance’s 30by30 initiative after a letter from the Minister expressing Australia’s commitment.

More specifically, the Australian Government has pledged over $67.4 million to protect Australia’s ocean and marine ecosystems including $14.8 million to address the impacts of ghost nets and plastic litter, and $28.3 million to enhance management of the Australian Marine Parks.

Minister Ley said that despite Australia having already exceeded its domestic target of formal protection of 30% of its own oceans, it is committed to help achieve the 30% global target by working with other nations.

The world’s oceans provide more than half the oxygen we breathe, they regulate the climate and feed billions of people across the world. However threats from pollution, overfishing and changing climates are a global challenge, and that’s why we have joined the alliance calling for formal protection of 30 per cent of the world’s ocean by 2030

Minister Ley said.

In Australia alone, the ocean provides with $25 billion worth of ecosystem services each year by way of climate regulation, carbon dioxide absorption, and oxygen production. Sea habitats like mangrove forests and seagrass meadows also boost climate resilience by trapping carbon and providing natural protection against storms and erosion.

We are committed to leading by example by looking after our own marine ecosystems, tackling key threats like marine plastics, and assisting our Pacific and international neighbours

Minister Ley concluded.

The initiative is in line with the overall UK's action in protecting the environment and the ocean, with the country announcing a 50% protection of UK and Overseas Territories waters by 2020, and tackling the scourge of plastic that often ends up there, by introducing the 5p plastic bag charge and banning the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds from next April.