Australia and Malaysia have signed an agreement to work together on marine conservation issues, including coral reef restoration and techniques to tackle crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks.

The Memorandum of Understanding on Marine Biodiversity Conservation and Management was signed yesterday at the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change hosted by Fiji in Bonn, Germany.

The agreement represents a positive step forward as we seek to protect our valuable marine ecosystems.

Cooperation between the two countries will extend to the research and management of migratory and endangered species, as well as managing the impacts of ecotourism.

This new cooperation builds on Australia and Malaysia’s existing cooperation through international initiatives such as the International Coral Reef Initiative and the Global Environment Facility Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project.

Since 2014, as part of its commitment under the Reef 2050 Plan, the Turnbull Government is investing $33.2 million to support the management of the crown-of-thorns starfish, including $568,000 towards research trials into breeding of the starfish’s feared predator — the giant triton sea snail.

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