The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recommended inscribing the Great Barrier Reef on the List of World Heritage in Danger due to its degradation. The Australian government has accused the organization of making this assessment unfair and politically motivated.
The Associated Press noted that putting heritage in danger could reduce tourism revenue from Australia’s coral reefs because tourists would be less attracted to the degraded environment.
The United Nations agency has accused Australian authorities of not doing enough to protect the Great Coral Reef, one of nature’s unique wonders, from the effects of climate change. She noted that it should be placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger since the water quality around the reef has not improved.
In response, Australian Environment Minister Susan Lee said UN experts have withdrawn from previous assertions and that the government intends to challenge the Great Reef’s recommendation in July. “There is a politician behind it, and it appears that she is the one who thwarted the actual process of the procedure” – she explained
“Climate change is the biggest threat to all coral reef ecosystems in the world (…) and it is unfair to distinguish Australia from one another,” Lai said.
The cruise operators concluded that the UN report was wrong and that tourists “remain in awe of the dazzling coral reefs and multicolored fish”. However, the Associated Press points to the voices of tourists who saw the reef several decades ago and claim that the reef was more colorful at the time.
The coral reef has been a World Heritage Site since 1981. It stretches for 2,300 kilometers along the northeastern coast of Australia. In 2017, Canberra committed more than $3 billion to improve its condition. (PAP)
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