Today, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee recognised Australia’s significant effort in the implementation of the Reef 2050 Plan and the development of the Investment Framework for the Reef.
In a unanimous decision at the 41st World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow, Poland, the Committee welcomed the progress made in the initial inception of the Plan and acknowledged the efforts of Australia.
The Turnbull Government is very pleased with the World Heritage Committee decision. The Reef 2050 Plan remains the right plan for the Reef.
We are in the early stages of this 35-year plan and are fully committed to addressing the key pressures on the Reef — things we can deal with directly like water quality, and the global challenge of climate change.
Mass coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017 is of deep concern to the Turnbull Government, just as it is for all governments responsible for World Heritage sites affected by global coral bleaching. This is why Australia is committed to its climate change targets under the Paris Agreement.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Reef advisory bodies have been asked by the Government to provide urgent advice on what further actions under the Reef 2050 Plan can be undertaken in the face of the bleaching event.
These issues and others will be discussed at the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum on 28 July.
The Turnbull Government is committed to the preservation and management of the Great Barrier Reef — a commitment made all the more important by the mass coral bleaching.
Together with the Queensland Government, we are investing over $2 billion dollars for the Reef over the next decade.
We agree with the Committee’s assessment that addressing the quality of water entering the Reef remains critically important.
We have accelerated our efforts in working with farming communities and investing in on ground action to help arrest the flow of sediment, nutrients and pesticide into the Reef and tackling the damaging effects of the Crown of Thorns starfish outbreaks.
Given the satisfactory inception of the Reef 2050 Plan, the World Heritage Committee will next consider the overall state of the Reef in 2020.
At the current meeting, the Committee will also be considering the impacts of coral bleaching on marine World Heritage places globally.
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