UNESCO Wants Australia To Act Urgently To Save Great Barrier Reef

4 June 2017, 8:07 am EDT By Andrew Norman Tech Times
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UNESCO urged the Australian government to beef up efforts save the Great Barrier Reef from complete damage. The reef's coral underwent several mass bleaching events and are in danger of becoming extinct.  ( Mark Kolbe | Getty Images )

The slow destruction of the world's largest coral reef has raised concern among environmentalists as they attempt to save the Great Barrier Reef from doom.

Greenhouse effect, climate change, and the rise in water temperature caused mass bleaching of the coral in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. While some scientists believe that there is no chance at all to save the reef, others are optimistic. UNESCO believes that the Great Barrier Reef can be saved and urged the Australian government to make greater efforts to save the world heritage site.

On Saturday, June 3, UNESCO pushed for accelerated efforts from Australia to save the Great Barrier Reef. The international agency also stated that the current pace at which the program was moving, would be ineffective in fulfilling the long-term targets that are etched out for saving the reef.

UNESCO Urges Australia To Save Great Barrier Reef

In a draft report to the World Heritage Committee, UNESCO stated that Australia was slow in achieving the "water quality targets." If the continent keeps its progress speed at this level, it is highly unlikely that it would meet the 2050 objectives. The draft report was released prior to a meeting scheduled to take place in Krakow, Poland, in July.

"The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the implementation of the Plan will need to accelerate to ensure that the intermediate and long-term targets of 2050 LTSP (Long-Term Sustainability Plan) are being met, in particular regarding water quality," the report stated.

Australia's Efforts To Save The Great Barrier Reef

Launched in 2015, the Reef 2050 Plan is a part of the Australian government's measures to prevent the Great Barrier Reef from being included in the United Nations' "in danger" list.

It would be an extremely embarrassing position for Australia and its government if the Great Barrier Reef gets a negative marking from the UNESCO. Moreover, destruction of the Great Barrier Reef would also damage Australia's economy as it would negatively impact the country's tourism.

Currently, the world's largest reef is threatened by an array of problems, which include mass coral bleaching, rise in water temperature, as well as poor quality of water due to household, agricultural, and industrial runoff. Apart from that global climate change, rapid coastal development and illegal fishing are also responsible for the Great Barrier Reef's destruction.

UNESCO initially lauded the inception and implementation of the Australian government's plan to save the reef from ultimate destruction. However, based on the latest progress rate, it appears that Australia needs to increase its efforts if it wants keep and save the Great Barrier Reef from extinction.

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