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World Heritage report launches at Bonn COP23, finds significant concern for the Great Barrier Reef

Tue 14 November 2017

Australia’s national treasure is facing a very high level of threat from climate change and there is real concern that its condition is deteriorating, a new report warns.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) launched their second World Heritage Outlook report into the condition and trend of World Heritage sites at the COP23 Climate Talks in Bonn overnight.

The report found that the 2016 and 2017 coral bleaching events have been unprecedented in severity and impacts. It found Cyclone Debbie was the tenth severe cyclone to hit the Reef since 2005. It expressed “critical” concern for corals, reef fish and seabirds.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) said time is critical if we are to save our Reef.

“The future survival of the Great Barrier Reef depends on a rapid switch from polluting coal to clean renewable energy”, said Fight For Our Reef Campaign Director Imogen Zethoven.

“The report is a wake up call for all Australian politicians. Immediate action is required before it’s too late for our global icon.

“The upcoming Queensland election will be a real test on whether our leaders are willing to listen to voters’ concerns on climate change, and act to save our precious Reef.”

“The overwhelming majority of Australians are appalled that $1 billion dollars in taxpayer money could be used to give a leg up to a harmful coal mine. AMCS welcomed the Premier’s election promise to veto the Adani loan last week, but now all eyes are on Queensland LNP leader Tim Nicholls to do the same.”

"For the sake of the thousands of livelihoods and families who rely on the Reef, we have to rule out Adani’s monstrous coal mine. But we can’t stop there. Tim Nicholls must reverse his support for a new coal fired power station and deliver at least 50% renewable energy by 2030."

64,000 Australia jobs depend on the health of the Great Barrier Reef, contributing $6.4 billion to the Australian economy.

Media enquiries:

Imogen Zethoven, AMCS Reef Campaigner on 0431 565 495 or imogenzethoven@amcs.org.au

Sam Wright, Climate Media Centre on 0450 806 368 or sam@climatemediacentre.org.au

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