"After much anticipation, the World Heritage Committee on Friday decided
against listing the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger”.
The decision ignored the recommendation of the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre — a
recommendation based on analyses by Australian scientific experts of the reef’s
In many ways, the outcome from the committee was expected. The Australian
government fought very hard against this decision, including lobbying all the
committee members, as it has done in previous years.
There was consensus among most of the 21 committee members to not apply the
in-danger listing at this time. Instead, Australia has been requested to host a
joint UNESCO/IUCN monitoring mission to the reef and provide an updated report
by February, 2022.
This decision has only postponed the inevitable. It does not change the
irrefutable evidence that dangerous impacts are already occurring on the Great
Barrier Reef. Some, such as coral bleaching and death from marine heatwaves,
will continue to accelerate.
The reef currently meets the criteria for in-danger listing. That’s unlikely to
improve within the next 12 months."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics