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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Escapes UN Endangered...



Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Escapes UN Endangered Listing

CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 07: Aerial views of The Great Barrier Reef are seen from above on August 7, 2009 in Cairns, Australia. A recent report by marine scientist Charlie Veron claims that the reef will be so degraded by warming seas that it will be gone within 20 years, and that this situation is now irreversible. He goes on to predict that once carbon dioxide levels hit levels predicted between 2030 and 2060, that all reefs will become extinct and their ecosystems would collapse. The area pictured is also where conservation celebrity Steve Irwin was killed by a singray. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
By Bloomberg
23 Jul 2021 0

(Bloomberg) --Australia succeeded in efforts to prevent the Great Barrier Reef from being listed as endangered by a United Nations organization after a diplomacy blitz.

By David Stringer and Laura Millan Lombrana
Jul 23, 2021, 1:20 PM
Word Count: 217

Members of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization committee on Friday voted against proposals to add the landmark to a list of at-risk World Heritage Sites, a move that would have triggered demands for additional conservation work.

“Without a site visit, no desired state of conservation, no corrective measure, and the absence of an agreed climate policy, an immediate endangered-listing will only harm the reef, not protect it,” Australia’s Environment Minister Sussan Ley told the committee on Friday.

Australia’s pro-fossil fuel government has rejected demands for tougher action on reef preservation, insisting it is already making improvements through a A$3 billion ($2.2 billion) investment program. The government successfully challenged a previous effort in 2015 to designate the reef as endangered.

The reef, which stretches across an area about the size of Japan, is the Earth’s largest living structure and home to more than 600 types of corals and 1,600 species of fish.

Unesco has pressed for additional action after issuing repeated warnings over the deteriorating condition of the reef. The site has suffered significantly from mass coral bleaching caused by higher sea temperatures, according to a U.N. report published last month.

To contact the authors of this story:
David Stringer in London at [email protected]
Laura Millan Lombrana in Madrid at [email protected]

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.


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