Australia: Reef Scorecard Highlights Risk to World Heritage Status

As part of their joint Fight for the Reef campaign, WWF-Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society today released a scorecard assessing the performance of both the Queensland and Australian Governments’ management of the Great Barrier Reef.

Last year, UNESCO gave Australia a deadline to outline how it would better manage the Reef, noting that a failure to make ‘substantial progress’ would jeopardise its world heritage status. That deadline expires today.

WWF’s Campaign Director, Richard Leck said each government was judged on a set of criteria based on the World Heritage Committee’s list of recommendations.

“These dismal scores highlight our grave concerns that UNESCO is going to have no option but to recommend the Reef be put on its unenviable ‘List of World Heritage in Danger’ – the list of shame,” Mr Leck said.

There’s a very real risk the Great Barrier Reef could lose its World Heritage status.

“The impact of that would be felt right throughout Queensland’s economy, especially its $6 billion reef tourism industry. Australia’s reputation is on the line.”

The scorecard shows the Queensland Government’s recent push to fast-track port development and weaken coastal protection laws are of major concern.

“The sheer size and speed of port and associated development along the Reef coast is unprecedented. There’s more dredging, more ships and more turtles and coral dying,” Mr Leck said.

“We also have significant concerns that instead of strengthening legislation to protect the Reef, the Queensland Government has moved to weaken legislation, which flies in the face of the World Heritage Committee’s recommendations.”

WWF and AMCS are calling on both governments to immediately implement a moratorium on approvals for all new major development until there is a sustainable and well-funded plan for the Reef’s future. The groups are also calling on the Australian Government to commit $500 million to reduce Reef pollution.

Press Release, January 31, 2013

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews (www.portnews.ru) holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee: snitko@portnews.ru

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