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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

The Commonwealth Coastal Policy Annexe

Commonwealth of Australia, May 1995


Annexe D: International treaties relevant to the coastal zone

Treaty Agency Objective Status
International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling 1946 ANCA Established International Whaling Commission. Main objective is to provide for the orderly regulation of whaling Entry into force generally 10 November 1948
Convention of the World Meteorological 1950 1947 Bureau of Meteorology Meteorology Entry into force generally 23 March Organisation (WMO)
Antarctic Treaty 1959 DEST Ensures Antarctica is used exclusively for peaceful purposes and that it will not become the scene or object of international discord Entry into force for Australia 23 June 1961
Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid Protocol) 1991 DEST Provides a comprehensive Antarctic environment protection regime Adopted Madrid 4 October 1991—to be ratified
International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC) of 29 November 1969 (under the auspices of IMO) and Protocol of 1984 to amend Transport–AMSA To ensure owners of oil tankers visiting Australian ports have appropriate levels of insurance to cover liability for pollution damage Entry into force for Australia 5 February 1984 Protocol not yet in force
International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties 1969 and Protocol Relating to Marine Pollution by Substances other than Oil 1973 (both under the auspices of IMO) Transport–AMSA To provide powers to intervene on the high seas in respect of marine casualties resulting in or likely to result in major environmental damage, except for warships Entry into force for Australia 5 February 1984
Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property 1970 DCA To prevent the illegal export of cultural heritage items and to provide for the return of items that have been illegally exported Ratified by Australia on 30 January 1990. Entry into force on 24 April 1972
International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 1971 and 1976 Protocol Transport–AMSA To provide an insurance fund to cover liability under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1969 Entry into force for Australia 8 January 1995
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) 1971 ANCA To promote conservation of wetlands and waterfowl, to establish nature reserves on wetlands, to provide adequately for their protection and management, and to train personnel competent in the field of wetlands research and management Entry into force generally 21 December 1975. Implemented through State/Territory conservation legislation. Australia now has 40 Ramsar sites
Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1972 DEST Establishes a scientific system for permanent protection of cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value Entry into force generally 17 December 1975
International Convention on Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Dumping Convention) 1972 EPA Controls dumping from any ships, aircraft or platforms in Australian waters and by Australian ships or aircraft in any part of the sea Entry into force for Australia 20 September 1985
Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals 1972 DEST Establishes a system of protection, scientific study and rational use of Antarctic seals Entry into force for Australia 31 July 1987
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 1973 (CITES) ANCA Regulates trade in species threatened with extinction Entry into force for Australia 27 October 1976
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 1973/78, and Annexes I to V Transport–AMSA To prevent pollution from disposal of oil, noxious liquids, harmful packaged substances and garbage from ships of all sizes, including recreational craft Entry into force for Australia 14 January 1988 (annexes I and II)
Agreement for the Protection of Migratory Birds and Birds in Danger of Extinction and their Environment between the Government of Australia and the Government of Japan 1974 (JAMBA) ANCA Bilateral agreement that reinforces Ramsar Convention as well as extending Australia’s commitment to protect migratory birds other than waterfowl, birds in danger of extinction and their environment Entered into force 30 April 1981
Agreement for the Protection of Migratory Birds and their Environment between the Governments of Australia and the People's Republic of China 1986 (CAMBA) ANCA Bilateral agreement that reinforces Ramsar Convention as well as extending Australia’s commitment to protect migratory birds, birds in danger of extinction and their environment Entered into force 1 September 1988
USSR–Australia Migratory Birds Agreement ANCA/DFAT Bilateral agreement that reinforces Ramsar Convention as well as extending Australia’s commitment to protect migratory birds, birds in danger of extinction and their environment Placed on hold pending stabilisation of the political arrangements in what is now the Commonwealth of Independent States
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974 Transport–AMSA   Entry into force for Australia 17 November 1983
Torres Strait Treaty 1978 DFAT Obliges Australia and Papua New Guinea to protect the marine environment and the way of life of the traditional inhabitants of Torres Strait Entry into force 15 February 1985
Convention on Conservation of Nature in the South Pacific 1976 (Apia Convention) ANCA Establishes a broad framework for nature conservation in the South Pacific region, particularly in relation to migratory and endangered species or the preservation and management of wildlife habitat and terrestrial ecosystems Entry into force generally 26 June 1990
Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention) 1979 ANCA Provides a framework for enhancing the conservation status of rare and threatened migratory species Entry into force for Australia 1 September 1991.
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 DFAT Attorney-General’s Framework convention governing all uses of the ocean. Establishes maritime zones of coastal states. Chapter XII covers protection and preservation of the marine environment. International obligations for management and conservation of natural resources, living and non-living, in the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone, the continental shelf and the territorial sea Entry into force 16 November 1994
Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region (SPREP) 1986 and related protocols (two) DEST A comprehensive, umbrella agreement for protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment of the South Pacific region. It lists sources of pollution that require control and identifies environmental management issues requiring regional cooperation Entry into force generally 22 August 1990
SPREP Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution Emergencies in the South Pacific Region 1986 EPA To enhance cooperation among the parties to protect the South Pacific region from threats and effects of pollution incidents Entry into force generally 22 August 1990
SPREP Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution of the South Pacific Region by Dumping 1986 EPA To prevent, reduce and control pollution by dumping of wastes and other matter in the South Pacific Entry into force generally 22 August 1990
Convention on Biological Diversity 1992 DEST The objectives of this Convention, to be pursued in accordance with its relevant provisions, are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding Entry in force generally 29 December 1993
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992 DEST To achieve stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system and within a timeframe sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change and to enable sustainable food production and economic development A framework convention was opened for signing at June 1992 UNCED. Entry into force generally 21 March 1994
Convention for the Conservation of Southern Blue Fin Tuna 1993 DPIE Ensure, through appropriate management, the conservation and optimum utilisation of southern blue fin tuna Entry into force generally 20 May 1994

Abbreviations

AMSA Australian Maritime Safety Authority IMO International Maritime Organisation
ANCA Australian Nature Conservation Agency JAMBA Japan–Australia Migratory Birds Agreement
CAMBA China–Australia Migratory Birds Agreement MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
CITES Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species SOLAS International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea
CLC Civil Liability Convention SPREP Convention on the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region
DCA Department of Communication and the Arts UNCED United Nations Commission on Environment and Development
DEST Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories UNCLOS United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea
DFAT Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade WMO World Meteorological Organisation
EPA Environment Protection Agency (Commonwealth)