UNESCO has decided not to put the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia on the world “in danger” list.
Australia’s Great Barrier reef is in the state of Queensland. It extends to about 2,000 KM (1,200 miles) along the coral sea coast of Queensland. It is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. It encompass 3,000 coral reefs and 600 islands with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 kinds of mollusc. Being the paramount tourist spot of Queensland it contributes $4.6bn to the Australian economy every year. It was given the world heritage status in 1981.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has exempted this great reef with vast biodiversity from the world “in danger” list but has severely warned that it is facing major threats. The living ecosystem has to be strictly protected from worsening water pollution and major coastal development projects such as coal mine and port expansion activities. The government of Queensland has taken strong commitments to protect the site and will have to report back to UNESCO at the end of 2016 and 2020 on its progress.