The latest UNESCO report on World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate was published this week, with a startling omission:
At the request of the Government of Australia, references to Australian sites were removed from the Report (recent information about the state of conservation of the Great Barrier Reef is available on UNESCO’s website here: http://whc.unesco.org/en/soc/3234).
The report “provides an overview of the increasing vulnerability of World Heritage sites to climate change impacts and the potential implications for and of global tourism. It also examines the close relationship between World Heritage and tourism, and how climate change is likely to exacerbate problems caused by unplanned tourism development and uncontrolled or poorly managed visitor access, as well as other threats and stresses. Tourism can also play a positive role in helping to secure the future of many World Heritage sites in a changing climate.”
Our view: the effects of climate change on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef need to be explored further, not excised from public view. If there is interest from locals, we will host a live video conversation (aka hangout) to hear directly from local experts. Preferably, this conversation would take place before the next UNESCO meeting (July 10-20).
For more info: The deleted text has been published online the blog of
@AdamCMarkham of the Union of Concerned Scientists: Australia’s Iconic Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Site at Risk from Global Warming