Unesco asks Australia to prepare report on state of Great Barrier Reef

31 May 2015 (Last Updated May 31st, 2015 18:30)

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has asked the Australian Government to prepare a report on the condition of the Great Barrier Reef within an 18 month period, as part of concerns over damage to the World Heritage Area.

Turtle

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has asked the Australian Government to prepare a report on the condition of the Great Barrier Reef within an 18 month period, as part of concerns over damage to the World Heritage Area.

The draft would be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in 2017.

Australia submitted a plan to Unesco in 2015 outlining its solutions to address the threats, which include an 80% reduction in pollution before 2025, BBC reported.

One of the main threats to the reef is Adani's proposed A$16.5bn ($12.5bn) Carmichael thermal coal mine in the north of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, which is advised by the UK- based Standard Chartered bank.

"Helping to develop new coal infrastructure in this pristine area means you are investing in the destruction of the world's largest living thing."

The mine has been opposed on environmental grounds and is expected to have an impact on the reef and groundwater at its site.

Greenpeace investment campaigner Sebastian Bock said: "Today's announcement is a clear signal to Standard Chartered or any bank still thinking of investing in mega-mines and port expansions along the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

"Helping to develop new coal infrastructure in this pristine area means you are investing in the destruction of the world's largest living thing."

Greenpeace is insisting Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott to stop supporting the coal industry, and also called for financial institutions planning to invest in the Carmichael mine.

The organisation said that such investment will lead to the destruction of a World Heritage Area.


Image: A green sea turtle on the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: courtesy of Nize.