Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Great Barrier Reef put on probation by UNESCO

The future of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef status as a World Heritage Site is still in jeopardy, says UNESCO who has put the Reef on probation.

Their report cautions that significant threats to the Great Barrier Reef remain, and calls on Australia to report back on progress in 18 months.

While the draft decision recognises recent promises by Australia to strengthen protection of the Great Barrier Reef, it says that the country must “rigorously implement all of its commitments.” 

“This draft decision will keep the pressure on the Australian government to turn its promises into real action and results,” said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman. 

Official Australian government reports say that the overall health of the Great Barrier Reef is poor and deteriorating. The World Heritage Site has lost more than half of its coral cover in the past 30 years, and populations of animals such as dolphins, dugongs and sharks are in decline. In addition to being one of the planet’s richest marine habitats, the reef generates nearly US$5.8 billion each year and provides about 69,000 jobs.

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