UN: Great Barrier Reef should be listed as ‘in danger’

UN committee recommended to add Great Barrier Reef to the list of “in danger” World Heritage Sites. However, this recommendation is opposed by Australia which is blaming political interference.

Key Points

Recommendation was made by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) committee. This committee sits under UNESCO. According to the committee, world’s biggest coral reef system should be added to ‘in danger’ list because of impact of climate change.

Background

Australia has been battling to keep Great Barrier Reef off the “in danger’ for four years. UNESCO noted in 2015 that, outlook for this reef was poor. However, it kept the site’s status unchanged. Since 2015, Great Barrier Reef has experienced three major coral bleaching events because of severe marine heatwaves.

Great Barrier Reef

It is world’s largest coral reef system that comprises of about 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for 2,300 kilometres over an area of 344,400 square kilometres. It is located in Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The reef can be seen from outer space. It is world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. Structure of the reef is composed of and built by tiny organisms called coral polyps. It was selected as World Heritage Site in 1981.

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