Free Essay

Government Failures Put Reef World Heritage Status “on the Line”

In: Social Issues

Submitted By EmbrysYong
Words 1199
Pages 5
Summary.
The failure of Australia and Queensland Government has put the Great Barrier Reef into risk. It is observed to have reached the point where the possibility of it being listed in World Heritage in Danger list is greater. Words are delivered effectively by the government in working on protecting the reef however actions are of another way around. Thus, in June final decision on classifying the reef under the “Danger” list will be done by the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meeting up in Doha, Qatar. Significant improvement is anticipated otherwise the reef will be officially known for the damaged condition. Such situation shaped due to the failure in fulfilling seven recommendations upon the Committee’s request. Apart from the embarrassment the nation and the people need to bear, Australia tourism industry will be at stake as the reef is one of the best attraction in Australia.

Review and Discussion.
UNESCO, the United Nations (UN) agency that inculcates education, communication, and arts serves its purpose to conserve and preserve the world heritage. In 1981, the Great Barrier Reef was selected as World Heritage (Australian Government- Department of the Environment: Great Barrier Reef Has Lost Half Its Corals Since 1985, New Study Says, n.d). For years being one of the sources for the region economic growth, generation of over $3 billion yearly (Australian Government- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority: Measuring the Economic and Financial Value of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, 2005) might cost Australia tourism industry a lot. Located at the south of Southeast Asia, apart from koala bears and kangaroos, The Great Barriers Reef is also the center of attraction for Australia. As tourism is greatly affected to and by the economic, environmental, and socio-political activities, enthusiasm for tourists visit may differs. Therefore, by the status of the reef itself for failing the recommendations, Australia as a whole may be projecting itself differently in tourist perspective all around the world.
Looking into the four major concerns by the World Heritage Committee, the first to approving four projects that further pollute the reef is a great disappointment. Queensland and Australia Government both has violated the strict obligation towards the reef by the approval of disposing dredge spoil into the protected area. It may be convenient and easy for the disposal to takes place right now however in long-term basis; it hurts the ecosystem as a whole. From the death of the reef along with a few hundred species of living organism labeled as endangered, the stunning diversity of wildlife probably will extinct. No doubt that few years from now the soft corals will vanish as one third of the world’s soft corals live in this particular reef (Tourism Australia: Great Barrier Reef- Discover the World’s Largest Natural Aquarium, 2010). With the slow extinction and pollution, the aquatic ecosystem will be affected from the very basic, the food chain. Such is explained as the disposal of dredge spoil leading to the release of persistent organic toxin (Phys.org, 2014). Through food chain, the toxin may affect the health of the organism with the intake of increasing concentration of heavy metals.

Recommendations.
Despite the well-planed objective by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority which is to mainly protect the health of the reef (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, n.d), it is seen that the effort is not enough. Thus, it is the second concern of the Committee where the poor management protection action should be expanded and managed with detailed effort. One of such is that the expansion should put the management into position to have a stronger power to voicing out upon any coastal development plan that affects the reef. At this stage, the management should be more extreme in action in every area that it is responsible of. Areas of management are as projected in Table 1. To put things in greater effectiveness, the management can convey on a more closely regulated and stricter monitoring activity in all scope of management on the reef.
Along with stricter and more extreme management on the reef, the third major concern of UNESCO on the World Heritage could be countered. Action to recover the damages at current level of the reef is vital as the continuance of pollutions will results on a greater harm in the later days. At this point, the reef must be invested heavily in terms of conserving and preventing any external forces in order to preserve the value in the eye of the future generations.
In regards of the fourth concerns of the Committee, transferring power from the Australia Government to Queensland Government upshots on delayed protective action is the one that needed more pressure from both environmentalist around the world and World Heritage Committee. However, with the current situation that obligation towards the Committee’s recommendations is uncertain, not much could be done not until the reef is in the World Heritage in Danger list. Instead from looking the scenario pessimistically, UNESCO and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority should progress on upholding more interactive and engaging ways to attract people’s attention on the state of the reef. Consequently, with more educated people in this issue will ultimately born more environmentalist that pressurize the government on their act not only towards the reef but also other endangered area of the nation.

Conclusion.
As everything runs in a cycle, humans cannot run away from the actions done. Future generation will have to bear the consequences of the past doings. Yielding the advantage in the moment somehow will cause long-term disasters. Worthiness of such action may differ from individuals to another, however for a responsible individual for say, the advantage gained cannot even be compared with the consequences the Mother Nature and future generations needed to bear.

References.
Australian Government- Department of the Environment (n.d) Great Barrier Reef Has Lost Half Its Corals Since 1985, New Study Says [Online]. Retrieved from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/great-barrier-reef-has-lost-half-its-corals-since-1985-new-study-says/2012/10/01/c733025c-0bda-11e2-bb5e-492c0d30bff6_story.html?wprss=rss_social-nation-headlines&Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost [Accessed 5 February 2014].
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (2005) Measuring the Economic and Financial Value of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park [Online]. Retrieved from: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/5584/gbrmpa_RP84_Measuring_The Economic_And_Financial_Value_Of_The_GBRMP_2005.pdf [Accessed 5 February 2014].
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (n.d) About the Reef; How the Reef is Managed [Online]. Retrieved from: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/about-the-reef/how-the-reefs-managed [Accessed 13 February 2014].
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (n.d) About Us: Message from the Chairman [Online]. Retrieved from: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/about-us/message-from-the-chairman [Accessed 13 February 2014].
Phys.org (2014) Australia Approves Plan to Dump Dredge Spoil in Barrier Reef [Online]. Retrieved from: http://phys.org/news/2014-01-australia-dump-dredge-barrier-reef.html [Accessed 13 February 2014].
Tourism Australia (2010) Great Barrier Reef- Discover the World’s Largest Natural Aquarium [Online]. Retrieved from: http://www.tourism.australia.com/story-ideas/national-landscapes-1559.aspx [Accessed 5 February 2014].

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