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UN powerless to force reef protection

UN powerless to force reef protection
March 30, 2012

A United Nations-led delegation inspecting the health of the Great Barrier Reef says it will be entirely up to the Australian government to implement its recommendations.

The team was sent by the UN's environmental agency UNESCO to compile a report on the World Heritage area, after the international body rebuked the Government for failing to inform it about a major gas development near Gladstone.

The delegation has met with fishing groups, environmental groups and industry bodies and federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.

Its report will be presented to the World Heritage Committee in June, which will then decide whether to list the reef as a World Heritage Site in Danger.

Delegation member Tim Badman, from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said he could only make recommendations and it would be up to the government to implement them.

Badman explained "I think it might be a question you would address to the Australian Government about how the Government responds to the World Heritage Committee.

"We're in no doubt about the seriousness with which this mission is being undertaken.

"It's open for us to make recommendations on the issues that present themselves, but the issues that we're asked to speak to are those that affect the overall universal value of the Great Barrier Reef."

The delegation was also met with a 'Save Our Reef' protest from Greenpeace, The Wilderness Society and GetUp! in Cairns.

10th June 2010 - BARING ALL TO SAVE THE BARRIER REEF

17th August 2009 - REEF TOURISM STRATEGY TO TACKLE A CHANGING CLIMATE


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