Great Barrier Reef should be listed as ‘in danger’ by UNESCO

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Great Barrier Reef should be listed as ‘in danger’ by UNESCO

Great Barrier Reef should be listed as ‘in danger’ by UNESCO

Recently, UNESCO i.e. ‘United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’ (UNESCO) has recommended the inclusion of ‘Great Barrier Reef’ in the list of ‘World Heritage Site in danger’.

UNESCO has cited the reason behind taking such a decision, the very rapid and dramatic loss of coral in the ‘Great Barrier Reef’.

Key Points

  • However, this initiative of UNESCO has been opposed by Australia, due to which there is a dispute between UNESCO and the Australian Government regarding the status and status of this iconic site.
  • In 2017, Canberra committed to spending more than three billion Australian dollars to improve the health of the coral reef, after UNESCO first debated its “endangered” and “threatened” status.
  • Coral reefs have suffered several bleaching events over the past 5 years, which have resulted in the loss of large amounts of coral.
  • According to experts, the main reason for these coral-bleaching events is the rise in ocean temperatures due to global warming caused by the combustion of fossil fuels.

Australia’s carbon emissions:

  • Australia is one of the highest per capita carbon emitting countries in the world. This is mainly due to Australia’s dependence on coal-generated electricity.
  • The country’s fossil fuel industries have been consistently supported in Australia by the conservative government, and the government has argued for not acting hard on emissions that would affect their employment.

What is a ‘Endangered World Heritage Site’?

The list of ‘In Danger World Heritage Sites’ is determined according to Article 11(4) of the ‘World Heritage Convention’ of 1972.

Purpose

The main purpose of the preparation of this list is to inform the international community of any property on their ‘characteristics’ and situations of impending danger or danger to the heritage, and to encourage corrective action thereon.

Criteria:

A ‘Determined Criteria List’ has been prepared by UNESCO to declare a ‘World Heritage property’ as a ‘World Heritage Site in danger’ list. Therefore, if found to conform to any of these prescribed listed criteria, the property is listed as a ‘World Heritage Site in danger’ by the World Heritage Committee.

Implication:

  • After listing any property in the list of ‘World Heritage Site in danger’, the ‘World Heritage Committee’ can immediately allocate assistance from the World Heritage Fund to ‘Dangerous Property’.
  • After being included in the list, a program for corrective measures is prepared by the World Heritage Committee, in consultation with the country concerned.

Examples:

In December 2003, an earthquake struck the city of Bam in Iran, killing about 26,000 people in the city. Subsequently, an ancient fort located in the city and the surrounding cultural areas were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and the ‘World Heritage Site in Danger’ list in the year 2004.

Source – The Hindu

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