National governments are using political lobbying and empty symbolic efforts to stave off an "in danger" listing for their World Heritage sites.
The Mapungubwe Golden Rhino is believed to have been made between 1220 and 1290.
Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty Images)
Without a clear framework within which decisions can be made, heritage resources will forever be threatened by development.
Neil Armstrong took this photograph of Buzz Aldrin during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the moon.
Throughout the world, unique sites of natural and cultural heritage are protected for future generations. But what about sites on the moon that represent the beginning of the human space age?
Central Island, the breeding ground of what was once the world’s largest population of Nile Crocodile.
Lake Turkana's status as a World Heritage Site hasn't protected it from environmental threats.
Dozens of reefs around the world have bleached in the past three years, of which the Great Barrier Reef was merely the most high-profile.
AAP Image/WWF AUSTRALIA, BIOPIXEL
Amid fears for the world's coral reefs, the UN World Heritage Committee has issued its most wide-ranging statement so far on protecting heritage sites from climate. But the problem doesn't end there.
The Great Barrier Reef’s major threat is climate change.
Great Barrier Reef image from www.shutterstock.com
The government's latest report to UNESCO on the Great Barrier Reef paints a rosy picture.
The World Heritage Committee’s deliberations involved far more than a simple tick for 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.
It’s still too early to declare that it’s blue skies for the Great Barrier Reef.
Underwater Earth/Catlin Seaview Survey/Wikimedia Commons
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
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.