WWF and govt to argue against “in-danger” reef listing

WWF might join the Federal Government in speaking about the Great Barrier Reef in front of the World Heritage Committee - but that does not mean they are on the same side.

In the next few days, Federal and Queensland government representatives will urge the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Bonn, Germany, to follow the draft recommendation not to list the 2300km icon as in-danger.

WWF will also attend and if given the opportunity to address the committee will argue against an in-danger listing.

But the environmental group shot down a report they were on "the same side".

"WWF supports UNESCO's draft decision on the Great Barrier Reef because it will keep the pressure on Australia to turn promises into real actions and results," WWF Australia chief Dermot O'Gorman said.

"In only 18 months, the Australian Government must give a progress report to UNESCO to demonstrate it is delivering on its promises.

"In reality Australia is being put on probation."

He said the government's Great Barrier Reef 2050 plan needed a significant injection of funds.

"WWF has serious concerns about reef 2050," Mr O'Gorman said.

"If the reef 2050 plan is not being effectively rolled out there is a strong chance the reef will be declared "World Heritage in-danger" in 2017."

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said she would make it clear to the committee that the government was committed to putting the future of the reef beyond doubt.

"We were elected with a mandate to save the reef for future generations and we intend to deliver on our promises, including a $100 million package to improve water quality," she said.

"I will be working hard with the Minister for the Great Barrier Reef in Bonn to strongly argue our case on behalf of all Queenslanders."



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