Australia opposes a suggestion by the United Nations to reduce the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage classification.
Due to climate change, Australia has indicated it will fight efforts to reduce the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage classification.
The United Nations World Heritage Committee said in a draft report released on Monday that the network of colorful corals off Australia’s north-east coast was “certainly endangered.”
When the World Heritage Committee meets in China in July, the report suggests that the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem be added to Unesco’s List of World Heritage in Danger, which now contains 53 sites.
The listing might shattered Australians’ faith in their government’s ability to care for the natural marvel, and Unesco headquarters could be tasked with devising so-called “corrective measures,” which are expected to require tougher efforts to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
This was a bad decision. Clearly, politics played a role.
Any reduction in the reef’s World Heritage classification could result in lower tourism earnings for Australia, as fewer people would be drawn to a deteriorated ecosystem and dead coral.
The story was incorrect, according to reef cruise operators, and guests were still awestruck by the brilliant coral and multicolored fish.
However, other visitors claimed that the coral was more colorful during previous visits decades ago.
Sussan Ley, the environment minister, and Marise Payne, the foreign minister, phoned Unesco director-general Audrey Azoulay to convey the government’s “deep dissatisfaction” and “bewilderment” with the idea.
Ms Ley stated that Australia, which is one of the committee’s 21 members, will reject the listing.
“This choice was erroneous. She told reporters, “Clearly, there was politics behind it.”
“Clearly, politics has thwarted a thorough procedure, and the World Heritage Committee’s failure to even presage this listing is terrible, in my opinion.”
Since 1981, a network of 2,500 reefs covering 348,000 square kilometers (134,000 square miles) has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
However, climate change and rising water temperatures are putting its health at risk.
The site had had substantial coral bleaching events as a result of exceptionally warm water temperatures, according to the paper. (This is a brief piece.)