Australia has improved various aspects of its human presence in Antarctica through improved waste treatment and repatriation, greater biosecurity screening of material transported to and from Antarctica, and successful eradication of cats, rabbits and rodents from Macquarie Island.
Australia has also contributed to international efforts to protect the region. Australia’s role as Chair of the Committee for Environmental Protection, established under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Madrid Protocol), has provided a forum through which parties are advised on how best to achieve their shared objective of comprehensively protecting the Antarctic environment.
Australia has played a leading role in discussions on the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). In 2012, CCAMLR adopted a binding Compliance Evaluation Procedure, which started in 2013. The procedure allows CCAMLR, for the first time, to assess country member implementation and compliance with agreed conservation measures, rules and procedures.
An Antarctic clean-up manual, which provides practical guidance on cleaning up past Antarctic waste disposal sites and abandoned worksites, was adopted by the Committee for Environmental Protection of the Antarctic Treaty in 2013. A Non-native species manual (CEP 2016), developed by Australia, New Zealand and France and adopted in 2011, seeks to prevent or minimise the introduction of non-native species to Antarctica, and manage the transfer of species between sites in Antarctica.
In 2012, the McDonald Islands Toothfish Fishery gained Marine Stewardship Council certification, which is testament to the good management of the fishery.