"The Great Barrier Reef is now in “critical” condition and the health of
four other Australian World Heritage properties has worsened, according
to a sobering report just released by the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The IUCN is the global authority on nature. Its third outlook report
marks the first time the IUCN has declared an Australian property as
critical, which means its values are severely threatened and
deteriorating. The health of the Blue Mountains, Gondwana Rainforests,
Shark Bay and the Ningaloo Coast has also been downgraded.
The assessment, while chastening, is not surprising. The Great Barrier
Reef has endured three mass coral bleaching events in five years, and
last summer’s bushfires caused untold damage in the Blue Mountains and
Gondwana Rainforests (not to mention the current fires at the reef’s
Climate change remains the key issue for World Heritage places, not just
in Australia but globally. In fact, the IUCN assessment found climate
change threatens 11 of Australia’s 16 properties. This raises further
questions over our national climate response."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics