The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia is currently escaping the ‘endangered world heritage’ classification. This has been decided by the competent committee of the UN organization UNESCO.
The organization previously recommended that the giant reef be classified as a ‘World Heritage Site at Risk’ due to coral damage and poor water quality but has now reversed that decision.
Thus, the committee follows Australia, which wanted to prevent image damage and, after a lot of lobbying, managed to get the majority of the 21 member states to its side. The country must now submit a new report on the condition and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef before the committee discusses a Red List entry again.
The unique reef off the east coast of Australia stretches over more than 340,000 square kilometers. It is considered one of the most breathtaking natural wonders on Earth but is on the verge of collapse. For example, three devastating coral bleaching events in the past five years, along with increasing industrialization along the coast, have taken their toll.