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article imageUNESCO set to determine whether Great Barrier Reef is 'in danger'

By Daniel Woods     May 30, 2015 in World
UNESCO is set to decide whether the Great Barrier Reef, a site of immense ecological importance and natural beauty, is endangered.
Over the next couple of weeks, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is due to decide whether the Great Barrier Reef should be reclassified as officially "in danger."
The spectacular site of natural beauty and wonder, lies off the eastern coast of Australia, and is the Earth’s largest coral reef, a cornucopia of marine life and one of the richest ecosystems on the planet.
The Great Barrier Reef covers an expanse of 348,000 square kilometres and is composed of 2,500 individual reefs.
In 1981 it was deemed a World Heritage Site, but four years ago UNESCO expressed "extreme concern" at a number of man made interventions in the area, such as liquified natural gas processing and the development of port facilities, which it felt were of great danger to the Reef's survival, protection and continued existence.
Over the last 18 months, the Australian government has made a number of moves to reassure UNESCO and the international community that the Great Barrier Reef has a secure and sustainable future.
These have included a ban on the longstanding practice of dumping damaging dredge waste across the reef, and enshrining in law limitations on port development.
The Environment Minister Greg Hunt told ABC: They can see we are doing real work to improve the reef, I believe that we're making once in a century changes to ensure that a century from now, the reef won't just be as it is, but will be better and stronger than it has been since European settlement.
More about Great barrier reef, Australia, Nature conservation, Wildlife, Wildlife conservation
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