UNESCO, the United Nations’ (UN) cultural body, decided against placing the Great Barrier Reef on its “In danger” list. This decision came in spite of the widespread destruction of the largest coral reef in the world by an extended period of bleaching.
The same authority also issued a report, last month, which underlined the grave danger brought to the natural formation by such events.
UNESCO Targeted the More Approachable Dangers to the Great Coral Reef?
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee is formed by the representatives of 21 countries. It is currently holding its annual meeting. In 2017, this is taking place in a castle in Krakow, Poland. Every year, the committee meets and reviews the World Heritage List. There are around 1000 cultural world heritage sites and about 230 natural ones.
Last month, UNESCO released a warning report, which points out the dangers of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. In it, the authority states that climate change might be responsible for the death of 29 corals reefs by 2100. These had all been listed as world heritage.
However, as the committee voted on adding on removing sites from its “In danger” list, it decided against placing the Great Barrier Reef on it. According to reports, the reasons behind this seemingly contradictory move could well be climate change. This is held as one of the reasons behind the recent bleaching events.
Still, the cultural authority instead drew attention to more immediate, smaller and local threats. The World Heritage Committee declared that Australia should start taking or increase its action against local threats.
“We’re taking every action possible to ensure this great wonder of the world stays viable and healthy for future generations to come,” declared Josh Frydenberg, the Australian Energy Minister to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio.
As it is, the World Heritage Committee did express its “serious concern” about the state of the reef. It urged Australian authorities to accelerate their efforts in improving the water quality. It described this as being essential to the “overall resilience of the property.”
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