Imminent decisions from UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee have spurred a global response, as thousands around the world express their concern at the Australian Government’s failure to protect key environmental areas
In meetings to be held this week in Doha, the World Heritage Committee will decide the fate of two of Australia’s most precious and iconic environments – Tasmania’s ancient forests and the Great Barrier Reef.
“Over the past 48 hours, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented level of global support to defend these World Heritage sites,” said Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager from the Bob Brown Foundation. “The hundreds of actions that took place over the weekend are a sign that the international community values our globally significant environments and people are willing to take a stand.”
“This is a truly worldwide public demonstration of our position – that Australia’s unique environmental sites should be protected for current and future generations to enjoy,” said Ms Weber.
“Australia is moving backwards by decimating hard-won protections and weakening environmental laws that protect world heritage sites,” said Felicity Wishart, Great Barrier Reef campaign director from the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
“Recent polling has shown that two-thirds of Australians hold the view that the World Heritage status afforded to the Great Barrier Reef makes it more important for protection by Australian Governments. The past 48 hours has really brought that home, with a huge outpouring of support from all corners of the globe.”
“The majority of Australians want to see both the Queensland and Federal Governments take seriously their responsibility to protect World Heritage sites like the Great Barrier Reef, and end all risks to its future,” said Ms Wishart. “The eyes of the world will be on the World Heritage meeting and on the subsequent need for Australian governments to lift their game.”
The global action to defend Australian World Heritage sites was co-ordinated by Observer Tree, the Bob Brown Foundation and the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
Press Release, June 17, 2014