Australia rejected UN warning describing the Great Barrier Reef as “at risk”

United Nations says Great Barrier Reef It has been so severely damaged that it should be stated as “at risk”. The warning prompted an immediate refusal from the Australian Government.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Committee Warning on Tuesday That “urgent” action is needed to combat the effects of climate change and protect the rest of the coral.The area suffered three catastrophic damages A large amount of coral bleaching phenomenon Since 2015 Warming seawater temperature..

The report says that coral reefs are ” Faced with identified danger“The government has found that, among other factors, it has not met its water quality and land management goals.

The committee will vote for the designation at a meeting in China next month.

Adding the world’s largest coral reef system to the Endangered Species list could lose UNESCO’s status as a World Heritage Site and could have a significant impact on tourism and the Australian economy. It was first registered as a heritage site in 1981, but if the government does not take steps to protect the reefs, the reefs could be removed.

Coral bleaching on Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Coral bleached during a large-scale bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef in the suburbs of Cairns, Australia. This is believed to be due to thermal stress due to rising water temperatures as a result of global climate change.

Brett Monroe Garner / Getty Images

Environment Minister Susan Lee said on Tuesday that Australia “strongly opposes” the recommendation, citing the government’s $ 3 billion investment in coral reef conservation. She called the UN approach “defective” and argued that the action was taken “without sufficient consultation.”

“Australian officials were surprised at the backflip of previous guarantees from UN officials that coral reefs would not face such recommendations before the UNESCO World Heritage Committee hosted by China in July,” Ray said. Stated. statement.. “The Great Barrier Reef is the most well-managed coral reef in the world, and this draft recommendation was made without a direct look at the reefs or the latest information.”

Coral reefs are an important marine ecosystem, home to more than 1,600 species of fish and more than 600 species of coral. Great Barrier Reef Foundation.. It has also greatly boosted Australia’s economy, creating $ 6.4 billion and 64,000 jobs annually.

“I agree that global climate change is the only greatest threat to coral reefs in the world, but in our view it is the most managed in the world for the” endangered “list. It is wrong to pick out the reefs that have been destroyed, “Ray said.

A dead coral found in a woman on Elliott Island.
A dead coral found in a woman on Elliott Island. To save the Great Barrier Reef, researchers, farmers and business owners are looking for ways to reduce the effects of climate change.

Jonas Gratzer / Light Rocket via Getty Images

The· Climate council, Australia’s major climate change non-profit organization said the UN warning “shames” the country’s government.Some organizations including Greenpeace australiaCondemned Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s continued support for fossil fuels and failure to act on climate change.

“The situation is dire and our response should be in line with it,” said Leslie Hughes, a spokeswoman and climate scientist. “It’s important to remember that coral reefs can be restored, but we need to get out of the serious coral bleaching phenomenon. The only way to do that is to quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

In December, the International Union for Conservation of Nature lowered the health of coral reefs from “serious concern” to “serious.” Climate change Today, it is the greatest threat to World Heritage Sites.It has Lost half of the coral It has responded to climate change since 1995, and its “critical” status is the most urgently designated status in the UNESCO Advisory Board’s classification system.

“The prospect of losing our coral reefs as a World Heritage Site is a big shock to many Australians, but our government needs to urgently raise its threat to its existence: its ambitions for climate change and water quality. It’s a powerful message that there is, “said Richard Wreck, Head of Marines. Global Fund for Nature-Australia.. “The federal government should seize the opportunity to turn the country into a renewable energy superpower.”

Australia rejected UN warning describing the Great Barrier Reef as “at risk”

Source link Australia rejected UN warning describing the Great Barrier Reef as “at risk”

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