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“The reality on the ground is that major destructive industrial projects that involve outdated practices like dumping dredge spoil in Reef waters continue to be approved.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

 

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news