DOHA: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unes–co) on Wednesday warned Australia that the Great Barrier Reef could be put on a list of endangered World Heritage Sites if more is not done to protect it.
Unesco’s annual World Heritage Committee gathering, which takes place this year in Doha, called on Australia to submit a report on its actions by February 1, 2015 or face the possibility of the reef being put on the “in danger” list.
The reef, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet that sprawls across an area roughly the size of Japan, is considered to be in poor health.
It is under growing pressure not just from climate change and the destructive coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, but agricultural runoff and rampant coastal development linked to mining.
In documents presented at the meeting, Unesco warned of the “serious decline in the condition” of the reef and said “a business as usual approach to managing the property is not an option.”