The Great Barrier Reef just had something huge happen that could have major implications for the future of this important natural resource.
A tremendous event has just taken place for the Great Barrier Reef that is causing a big reaction across the scientific world. The United Nations’ World Heritage Committee met recently and decided not to list the reef as “in danger,” a huge development that many are declaring a success in protecting this incredible natural wonder that many fear is dying due to climate change and human impacts on the environment.
That, of course, does not mean that the reef is fine, but the situation is not as dire as many feared, the UN believes. The UNESCO committee praised Australia’s progress in conserving the reef, but also said it has serious concerns about bleaching events over the last couple of years, and said Australia must further boost their efforts to protect the reef or its long-term status could be in jeopardy.
“On 1 December 2016, the State Party submitted an update report on progress with the implementation of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (2050 LTSP) and the associated Investment Strategy, for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN,” the UNESCO statement reads. “The State Party considers that the inception of the 2050 LTSP has been effective, that progress has been made, and that an Investment Framework is in place. Since the Plan’s release, legislation has been passed to ban sea-based disposal of capital dredge material in the property, to restrict new port development within current port limits, and to prohibit major capital dredging for port facilities outside the four major priority areas. Progress is also being made towards improving monitoring and compliance with the regulated standards in relation to agricultural run-off, which is the major cause of poor water quality.”