World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Government failures put reef world heritage status

A new report shows the Australian and Queensland Governments are failing to act on the World Heritage Committee’s major concerns about the Great Barrier Reef.

UNESCO’S World Heritage Committee has made a series of recommendations on improving management of the Reef and asked the Australian Government to report on progress by 1 February 2014. The Committee meets in Doha, Qatar this June and without substantial progress it could list the Great Barrier Reef as World Heritage in Danger.

WWF-Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society today released the 72 page report, which assesses progress on the recommendations, and an accompanying scorecard which lists the government failures.

Of the seven detailed recommendations from the World Heritage Committee the Australian and Queensland Governments have failed to make “good progress or completed” any of them.

Some of the major concerns detailed in the report are:

• Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt recently approved four major developments within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This includes the dumping of dredge spoil in Reef waters in direct contravention of one of the World Heritage Committee’s recommendations

• The Federal Government is handing over environmental approval powers to the Queensland Government just as the Queensland Government is watering down state legislation in ways that “actively impede” protection of the Reef.

• The health of the Reef continues to decline and “If pollution impacts are not properly addressed through greatly increased investment and on-ground action, it is highly unlikely that the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef will be conserved.”

• Halting and reversing the overall declining condition of the Reef won’t be possible using current management approaches

“We’re going backwards on the Reef – that’s the sad truth,” said WWF Reef Campaign Director Richard Leck.

“What we get from the Australian and Queensland governments is lots of talk but very little action.

“The reality on the ground is that major destructive industrial projects that involve outdated practices like dumping dredge spoil in Reef waters continue to be approved.

“Our World Heritage Status for the Reef is on the line. Do we really want to join the list of shame and have the Reef declared World Heritage in Danger? Imagine the impact that would have on our tourism industry?” he said.

AMCS Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director, Felicity Wishart, said governments had dropped the ball.

“It seems the Federal and Queensland governments either don’t understand what’s at stake or worse they’re deliberately ignoring the World Heritage Committee,” she said.

“This is serious – our governments have botched or defied the World Heritage Committee's key recommendations about the Reef.

“With plans by the Federal Government to hand over its environmental approvals to the Queensland Government, which is busy stripping away environmental protection, it is a recipe for disaster for the Reef.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Palestinian Refugees From Syria Face Worsening Situation

Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah More>>

ALSO:

Greece Risks Prolonged Social Crisis

Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried More>>

Madagascar: Warning Of ‘rapid’ Spread Of Plague In Capital

Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala More>>

New Bird Flu Strain In Europe Threatens Poultry Sector

24 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today warned that a new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, especially in low-resourced countries situated along ... More>>

Mexico: Disappearances Reach Record Number This Year

The National Registry of Missing Persons acknowledges that from 2007 to date, there are 23,605 cases of disappeared persons; 40% have been reported during the current administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto. More>>

Ban To Take Up Fight Against Ebola With All UN Organisations

Street sellers at Waterside market in central Monrovia, where there has seen a huge drop in customers over the past months due to the onset of the Ebola Virus Disease. Photo: UNDP/Carly Learson (20 November 2014) More>>

ALSO:

Darfur: UN-Backed Event Promotes Role Of Women In Peace

Darfur: amid mass rape allegations, UN-backed event promotes role of women in peace processes More>>

Ebola Cases No Longer Rising In Guinea And Liberia

In Conakry, Guinea, a mobilizer teaches children about proper handwashing techniques, which help prevent the spread of diseases, including Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/Timothy La Rose More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news