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Tony Abbott may have planted a few trees, but he’s also sought to bury many of Australia’s environmental safeguards. Britta Campion/AAPImage

Abbott’s environment agenda is even harsher than he promised

Before the 2013 election, Tony Abbott gave us fair warning that he would turn the clock back on the environment. As promised, his government has devoted itself to short-term economics and the sort of hardline…
About 5% of the Tasmanian Wilderness could delisted as a World Heritage area, if an Australian government request wins international approval. Ta Ann Truths/Flickr

Australia sends mixed messages on iconic World Heritage areas

This week, experts will debate the future of two of Australia’s World Heritage areas, the Tasmanian Wilderness and the Great Barrier Reef, at a meeting in Doha, Qatar. The world will be watching, as it…
Louis Armstrong was used by the US government as a political tool.

Insipid International Jazz Day whitewashes a fractious past

Jazz is filling the radio waves and culture sections in honour of International Jazz Day. The day is organised by UNESCO, who say that the event, first run in 2012, is designed to celebrate the music for…
Already operating as a coal port, the disposal of dredge material from expanding Abbot Point is now the subject of a legal challenge. GBRMPA

Let’s dump Great Barrier Reef dredging myths: authority chief

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s recent decision to allow 3 million cubic metres of dredge material to be disposed of 25 kilometres off Abbot Point in north Queensland has attracted passionate…
A scuba diving tourist feeds a giant potato cod in the Great Barrier Reef. Pete Niesen/Shutterstock.com

Dredging set to swamp decades of Great Barrier Reef protection

After decades of work, A$200 million in taxpayer funding and even more from farmers' pockets, we finally have a rare good news story to tell about the Great Barrier Reef. Thanks to an extraordinary effort…
World Heritage won’t mean anything if nothing’s done about climate change. Flickr/350.org

A reprieve, but the Great Barrier Reef remains on death row

The Great Barrier Reef may have been spared the indignity of being listed as a World Heritage Area “in danger” this week, but the Reef’s woes are just beginning. There are 962 properties on the world heritage…
Will the Great Barrier Reef be declared ‘In Danger’? We’ll have to wait until next year to find out. AAP Image/Catlin Seaview Survey

UNESCO still worried about the Great Barrier Reef

UNESCO, the body that lists world heritage areas, continues to express extreme disquiet about the state of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. But it has now postponed to February 2014 consideration…
Queensland’s proposed port developments threaten the state’s important northern wetlands, the reef’s first line of defence. Rex Boggs

Without wetlands, what will protect the Great Barrier Reef?

UNESCO has released its latest report on the state of the Great Barrier Reef, and has once again raised concerns about excessive port development along the coast, and the state of water quality around…
Incidents of major agricultural run-off, like the recent Queensland floods, certainly affect Great Barrier Reef water quality, but systems are in place to reduce their effect. AAP Image/Twitter, ISS, Chris Hadfield

Worried about Great Barrier Reef water pollution? Look at mining, not agriculture

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is both a national marine park and a World Heritage Area. But next to the reef, a catchment of 400,000km2 is almost completely developed for agriculture, predominantly beef…
Neither the Federal nor the Queensland Governments are doing what’s required to save the Great Barrier Reef. AAP Image/Greenpeace, Dean Sewell

Grief of Great Barrier Reef: UNESCO should declare heritage site in danger

The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is clearly in danger. But will UNESCO bite the bullet and officially declare it so? UNESCO acknowledges that the property is iconic. It is the world’s largest…
UNESCO’s warning has done little to turn Australia’s coal development around. Peter Asquith

Australia coy in report on heritage status of Great Barrier Reef

Australia has delivered an updated report on the state of conservation in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) that tip-toes around the politically charged issue of constraining major port expansions on the Queensland…
A bund wall surrounds the Fishermans Landing Wharf expansion in Gladstone. AAP/Dave Hunt

UNESCO throws down gauntlet on Great Barrier Reef ports

The sealing of a leak of dredge spoil (harbour-bottom scooped up and dumped in a landfill area) in a bund wall in Gladstone harbour was announced on 25th of June by the Gladstone Ports Corporation. Scientists…
The Great Barrier Reef … in danger of a downgrade. Flickr/eutrophication&hypoxia

UNESCO’s Great Barrier Reef report: experts respond

A damning UNESCO report has criticised management of the Great Barrier Reef and warned that the area could be downgraded…
The Palestinian delegation to UNESCO await the outcome of the vote on membership. AAP

Palestine vote: America the loser as it withdraws funding from UNESCO

The United States announced last Monday that it would refuse to pay its 2011 funding commitment to the United Nations' lead cultural and educational body following that organisation’s decision to admit…

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