UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee on 18 June 2013 increased pressure on the Australian government so as to conserve the Great Barrier Reef.
The World Heritage Committee gave Canberra one year time to present a plan on how to protect the reef, listed as a World Heritage site since 1981, from increasing coal and gas extraction and shipping.
As per the discussion in the 37th session in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, If Australia fails to come up with a satisfactory plan then World Heritage Committee will place it on the “in danger” list. It was also stressed that by 2014, Australia has to improve water quality monitoring and limit port development to existing port areas.
It is worth mentioning here that among the 38 World Heritage sites currently listed as “in danger” is the Everglades National park in Florida and the Old City of Jerusalem.