Great Barrier Reef

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The World Heritage Committee’s deliberations involved far more than a simple tick for the Great Barrier Reef. Jon Day

Not out of hot water yet: what the world thinks about the Great Barrier Reef

Australia was spared the ignominy of having the Great Barrier Reef listed as officially in danger. But comments from member countries of the World Heritage Committee show the world is still worried about it.
The government has convened 16 experts to help deliver its plan to save the Great Barrier Reef. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland

It’s time for the new Great Barrier Reef expert panel to wade into the issue

The government's plan to save the Great Barrier Reef hinges on hitting a series of pollution and conservation targets within just a few years. A new expert panel will advise on how best to get there.
It’s still too early to declare that it’s blue skies for the Great Barrier Reef. Underwater Earth/Catlin Seaview Survey/Wikimedia Commons

The Barrier Reef is not listed as in danger, but the threats remain

Whether it's on the official "in danger" list or not, the Great Barrier Reef is clearly under threat. UNESCO has placed its faith in Australia, but without urgent action the problems will not go away.
Australia has persuaded UNESCO it has a plan to save the Great Barrier Reef - now the policies and funds must materialise. AAP Image/Tourism and Events Queensland

Australia reprieved – now it must prove it can care for the Reef

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee has spared Australia's blushes by opting not to list the Great Barrier Reef as 'in danger'. But it has also demanded that Australia make good on its plans to save it.
The Curtis Island gas precinct is one of the biggest developments along the Great Barrier Reef coast. AAP Image/Greenpeace

Development and the Reef: the rules have been lax for too long

The coast alongside the Great Barrier Reef is home to ports, farms, holiday resorts, and more than a million people. It all puts pressure on the Reef, and it's time for some firms plans to manage it.
Loggerhead turtle populations are facing a brighter future, but many other species are still in decline, while for others there are no data at all. AAP Image/Lauren Bath

We’ve only monitored a fraction of the Barrier Reef’s species

The Great Barrier Reef is home to some 1,600 species of bony fish, 130 sharks and rays, and turtles, mammals and more. Most have had no population monitoring, meaning we don't know how well they are faring.
When World Heritage sites are under threat, like Florida’s Everglades National Park, they are added to the List of World Heritage in Danger. Flickr/slack12

Explainer: what is the List of World Heritage in Danger?

The United Nations is set to decide whether to add the Great Barrier Reef to the List of World Heritage in Danger. But what is the list, and what does it mean for the places that are on it?
The MV Shen Neng I spills oil onto the Great Barrier Reef in 2010. Large accidents are rare, but there is still very little monitoring of long-term chronic damage from shipping. AAP Image/AMSA

Shipping in the Great Barrier Reef: the miners' highway

Port traffic near the Great Barrier Reef will more than double by 2025, as coal and other exports grow. While major incidents are rare, the chronic toll on the reef itself still remains largely unknown.
A flood plume containing sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef from Bundaberg. AAP Image/James Cook University

Cloudy issue: we need to fix the Barrier Reef’s murky waters

Successive plans to curb the sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing into the waters around the Great Barrier Reef have fallen short, leaving the corals that call the reef home highly vulnerable.
More mines, more roads, as the government puts its drive towards economic development ahead of all else. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

There are no green shoots for sustainability in this Budget

Amid talk of paths to surplus and investing in infrastructure, both sides of politics seem to have forgotten Australia's longstanding responsibility to govern sustainably, and not just for the economy.
Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt at last year’s Green Army launch. Funding for the initiative has been slimmed down but is still more than A$700 million. AAP Image/Britta Campion

Federal Budget 2015 – environment experts react

The Federal Budget 2015 makes little mention of emissions reductions or renewable energy, but does feature funding boosts for drought assistance and the Great Barrier Reef. What else is in?
Julie Bishop with her counterpart Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Bishop’s headwear attracted attention and some criticism in Australia. EPA/Stringer

Julie Bishop’s Barrier Reef mission

Julie Bishop's high profile as foreign minister must surely be rivalling that of Kevin Rudd.
The World Heritage Committee has called for a comprehensive assessment not just of the threats to the Great Barrier Reef, but of their cumulative effect. AAP Image/Australian Institute for Marine Science, Ray Berkelmans

Is Australia meeting the UN recommendations for the Great Barrier Reef?

The government says it has met all of the recommendations for safeguarding the Great Barrier Reef. But a close reading of the dozens of UN recommendations shows that many have been only partly fulfilled.
The new Reef 2050 plan is taking the long view on protecting the Great Barrier Reef - but does it have the right vision? Nickj/Wikimedia Commons

Government unveils 2050 Great Barrier Reef plan: experts react

The federal and Queensland governments have unveiled their blueprint for protecting the Great Barrier Reef for future generations. Will the $2 billion plan succeed? Our experts give their verdicts.

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