Australia’s Been Accused Of Blocking A Move To Get The Great Barrier Reef Listed As ‘In Danger’

Australia has been accused of blocking a move to get the Great Barrier Reef listed as ‘in danger’, and at this point are we really surprised?

Australia’s representative for the UN’s World Heritage Convention said over the weekend that the government had concerns over the reef being listed as ‘in danger’.

The rep in question, James Larsen, was also a Climate Coordinator (which sounds fake, but ok) and was involved in planning a strategy for PM-led international engagements for 2021, including at COP26 . Obv, we all know how well that went.

According to The Guardian, Larsen asked a general assembly meeting at the UN’s World Heritage Convention: “what in particular is the route off the ‘in danger’ list for a single property if the dangers concerned are global developments that require global solutions?”

Essentially the Australian platform is, embarrassingly, that if the Great Barrier Reef makes it on to the ‘in danger’ list, it might stay there forever.

UNESCO has been lobbying since June for the Great Barrier Reef to be put on the ‘in danger’ list of World Heritage Sites. It released a report which, predictably, Australia objected to.

The report said that: “The long-term outlook for the ecosystem of the property has further deteriorated from poor to very poor, and that the deterioration has been more rapid and widespread than was evident during the period 2009-2014.”

“The property has also suffered significantly from coral bleaching events in 2016, 2017 and most recently in 2020, as a result of global warming.”

At the time, Sussan Ley – our Minister for Environmental Affairs – told the BBC that Australia would challenge the listing.

“There are 83 natural World Heritage properties facing climate change threats so it’s not fair to simply single out Australia,” she said. Sure, Jan!

At the World Heritage Convention assembly meeting, Australia and its besties Japan and Poland requested that the assembly officially note the “desirability of avoiding decisions which would otherwise pre-empt the outcomes” of the deliberations.

Basically, the Australians were then accused of trying to upset the process of listing sites as ‘in danger’. The Norwegian rep Eva Hauge Fontaine described it as “highly inappropriate”, so shout out Eva.

In great news for our Eurovision chances, a dozen countries banded together to block the note.

However, the assembly ultimately failed to agree on any new policies, instead deciding to develop a ‘working group’, which I’m sure will do loads.

You’d think Scotty from Marketing would want to protect the Great Barrier Reef given it’s one of our most impressive natural features and tourist destinations, but no! That would be simply too close to doing something meaningful about climate change.