Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is a beautiful habitat that teems with diverse marine life. The UN World Heritage Committee has issued a statement, saying that it is imperative that Australia continue to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
The committee recently decided not to list the Great Barrier Reef as an endangered habitat. However, it has required Australia to give it a plan to conserve the Great Barrier Reef from environmental problems. The 35-year plan has to be turned in by December 2016.
Climate Change and Other Issues Affect Great Barrier Reef
A UNESCO report states that there were several concerns about possible future problems. These issues include climate change, global warming, costal development projects, pollution, coal mining, dredging and the building of new coal ports.
Other organizations also expressed their concerns to protect the Great Barrier Reef. For one, Greenpeace Australia Reef said that the government couldn’t keep talking about protection of the reef while it support the expansion of coal ports and mining in the area.
Despite this, the Australian government has spearheaded some extensive conservation efforts in the past. The Federal Environment and Queensland Labor has worked to turn around the spoilage and degradation in areas surrounding the reef. Part of that plan included permanently banning offshore dredging and spoil dumping, as well as targeting the reduction of nitrogen and sediment.
Conservation groups stressed that there is still a great need to protect the Great Barrier Reef. They want the government to announce concrete plans for protection and to outline the ways in which the plans will truly be effective.
Endangered status of Reef Might Have Affected Tourism
As a country that thrives majorly off of tourism, Australia would definitely lose large amounts of funding if the reef was listed as endangered by UNESCO, and if inadequate efforts are made to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
The bottom line is that if the magnificent, beautiful and life-filled Australian Great Barrier Reef is to survive and thrive, there is a need to protect it. Hopefully, the Australian government’s proposed 35-year conservation plan will successfully see this through.