Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Australian references removed from UN climate change report over ‘tourism concerns’

Australian references removed from UN climate change report over ‘tourism concerns’
May 29, 2016

All references to Australia have been removed from a United Nations report on climate change after the Federal Department of Environment expressed concerns it could cause confusion and negatively affect tourism.

The report, World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate, jointly published by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), the Union of Concerned Scientists and the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), initially contained a chapter on the Great Barrier Reef and sections on Kakadu and Tasmanian forests.

However, as reported by the Guardian Australia, when the Federal Environment Department saw a draft of the report, it objected, and every mention of Australia was removed.

A statement from the Environment Department said that it had "indicated it did not support any of Australia's world heritage properties being included" in the report.

It also said Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt was not involved or briefed on the issue.

No sections about any other country were removed from the report. The removals left Australia as the only inhabited continent on the planet with no mentions.

Explaining the decision to object to the report, a spokesperson for the Environment Department told Guardian Australia “recent experience in Australia had shown that negative commentary about the status of world heritage properties impacted on tourism.”

As a result of climate change combined with weather phenomena, the Great Barrier Reef is in the midst of the worst crisis in recorded history. Unusually warm water has caused 93% of the reefs along the 2,300 kilometre site to experience bleaching. In the northern most pristine part, scientists think half the coral might have died.

Will Steffen, one of the scientific reviewers of the removed Australian section, said the Australia Government’s move was “frankly astounding” and reminiscent of “the old Soviet Union”.

Steffen, an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University and head of Australia’s Climate Council, was previously Executive Director of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, where he worked with 50 countries on global change science.

He said he was "very surprised" when he saw that Australia was not included, because it was one of the major case studies in the report.

Steffen explained "it's obviously not only one of the most iconic world heritage sites in Australia, it's a globally iconic site and it's one of the sites where climate change is probably one of the most prominent threats.”

Steffen said that his understanding of how the report would be used was just "a normal UNESCO report where they're putting information out on global scale issues."

The Australian Department of Environment said one of the concerns it had was the title, 'Destinations at Risk'.

The Department said the title had potential to cause considerable confusion because only six months earlier the World Heritage Committee had decided not to include the Great Barrier Reef on the endangered list.

Click here to access the World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate report.

Images: Coral bleaching on the  the Great Barrier Reef (top) and divers on the reef (below).

7th May 2016 - GREAT BARRIER REEF TOURISM OPERATORS CALL FOR ACTION TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE

3rd May 2016 - TOUR OPERATOR SHUNS TAKING GREENS SENATORS TO BARRIER REEF OVER FEARS OF ‘BAD PUBLICITY’

23rd December 2015 - GREAT BARRIER REEF TOURISM OPERATORS CONSIDER IMPLICATIONS OF COAL PORT SPOIL DUMPING

5th July 2015 - MINISTER CLAIMS UNESCO GREAT BARRIER REEF DECISION SHOWS AUSTRALIA WORLD LEADERSHIP

30th May 2015 - GREAT BARRIER REEF TO BE SPARED UNESCO ‘IN DANGER’ LISTING


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

GUNNEBO

Gunnebo is a global provider of security and access control solutions and services with sales companies in 31 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia.…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Security / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Fitness On Demand

Fitness On Demand™ is a market-leading developer of virtual group fitness products. Our innovative video delivery systems offer robust content and a simple-to-use, comprehensive web app. Fitness…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

The Retention People Australia

TRP help health clubs, leisure centres and gyms across the globe create happy, loyal members through our user-friendly software which enables effective engagement and the delivery exceptional customer…

read more

Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

LANDER & ROGERS

Lander & Rogers' Sports Business Group is the leading sports law practice in Australia, representing over 150 national and international sporting bodies. Our clients include international…

read more

Legal

 
 

CERAMIC SOLUTIONS

Established in 1994, Ceramic Solutions has excelled at the supply and installation of swimming pool tiles and equipment for the pool and leisure industry, with a focus on the needs of end-users. …

read more

Aquatics / Design / Surfaces / Venues

 
 

Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp)

SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp) is an expert retail and marketing services team specialising in sports, leisure, aquatics, fitness, health, wellness & recreation industry. Using proven…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Marketing / Retail

 
 

VIVATICKET

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  19th July 2018 - ENTA AUSTRALASIA REBRANDS AS VIVATICKET 17th October 2016…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business