The World Heritage Committee will meet in Cambodia this week to consider a draft decision to place the reef on its ‘danger list’ in 2014 unless the Queensland and federal governments clean up their act.
Requests include that no more developments are approved along the Queensland coast that would impact individually or cumulatively on the reef.
Other major concerns include escalating ship traffic through the reef and poor water quality resulting from coastal development.
The WWF and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCA) have released a scorecard, which shows there has been no improvement in managing the impacts of ports and port development along the Great Barrier Reef coast.
They have ‘major concern’ that the Australian and federal governments haven’t developed a policy to contain port development to existing sites, and a number of proposals are progressing through the federal government’s environmental assessment processes.
The governments have also failed to set conservation targets and increase funding enough to stop pollution from catchments. A long-term strategy for sustainability is also overdue.
The WWF’s Great Barrier Reef campaign director Richard Leck says Australia could become the only developed country unable to meet its World Heritage obligations.
‘Australian governments now have a firm deadline for action to avoid the global icon being placed on an international list of shame,’ he said.
‘The eyes of the world will be on the Australian and Queensland governments and the decisions they make in the coming year.’
WWF and the AMSA want tens of thousands of people around the world to create a 24-hour ‘Twitter Storm’ on Monday to show global support to protect the reef.Source: Sky News – Report shows reef protection failing
- Australia’s Great Barrier Reef declared in danger by United Nations (craighill.net)
- Dolphins are victims of Australia’s most environmentally controversial project at Gladstone (craighill.net)
- Reef protection failing- report (bigpondnews.com)
- Reef threat still real, green groups say (smh.com.au)
- 18 Surreal Scenes From Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (businessinsider.com)
- UNESCO could rule Barrier Reef in danger (skynews.com.au)
- Reef protection failing- report (skynews.com.au)
- What do Aussies think about the Great Barrier Reef? (csironewsblog.com)
- Great Barrier Reef: World Heritage in Danger? (news.nationalgeographic.com)
- 150 marine scientists warn of port construction threat to Great Barrier Reef (abc.net.au)
- Qld to deal directly with UN over reef (bigpondnews.com)
- Australia ‘fails to protect reef’ (bigpondnews.com)