Australia announced the creation of the largest global network of marine protected areas, covering a 1.7 million square kilometers of ocean near the coast. The measure is aimed at the conservation of marine life and limiting the possibilities of oil and natural gas.
The environment minister of Australia, Tony Burke, said the plan was similar to creating a network of marine national parks. The measure has met with objections from oil companies and natural gas, and fisheries. The initiative was announced days before the celebration in Rio de Janeiro of a major UN summit on sustainable development.