Sumary of Australia races against time to avoid an ‘in danger’ rating at UNESCO vote:
- Australia has desperately tried to avoid that scenario through a flurry of last minute lobbying, including taking ambassadors on a snorkeling trip to the reef.
- But a series of natural disasters and the growing effects of climate change have severely impacted the reef, including widespread coral bleaching.
- Environment Minister Sussan Ley flew to Europe in July as part of a last-ditch attempt to convince the other 20 members of the World Heritage to vote against the measure.
- In an amendment proposed on Tuesday, 12 countries on the committee, including Russia, Saudi Arabia and Spain, appeared to back a suggestion to not impose an “in danger” rating on the Barrier Reef, but no final decision has been made.
- For example, when it meets this month, the World Heritage Committee will also decide whether or not to place Venice on the “in danger” list, due to a range of threats to the historic city including large cruise ships.
- In the past, “in danger” ratings have been lifted after the relevant authorities addressed issues raised by UNESCO.