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Reef Report for Friday, June 12, 2015

Great Barrier Reef keeps World Heritage Site Status
Triumph or mixed blessing?

We’ve been following with great interest the politics and science behind the United Nations (UNESCO’s) review of the health of the Great Barrier Reef, and its consideration on whether to list this world heritage site as endangered for some time now.

The most recent news is a mixed bag, with details that both cause elation, optimism, and disappointment.

Just last week UNESCO voted on a draft resolution, to recommend not to list the Great Barrier Reef as having an endangered status. That’s good news for the reef tourism here, as that will mean more visitors to the region.

More importantly, if the vote was based on sound science on the health of the reef, then we really do have something to celebrate, that the long term prognosis for the future of this remarkable ecosystem is bright.

Unfortunately, more recent news questions both the soundness of the science presented to UNESCO, and the motivations of at least some of the stakeholders.

Read the articles below, do your own digging, and always question the source of any information offered. All we can say is we’d like to see the health of the reef protected, with a plan that is based on sound science, with funding and oversight that allow it to be executed, monitor the plan's effectiveness, and a plan with the flexibility to allow for changes to make it more effective.

It seems like at the moment no interest group can agree with any other interest group on the current state of the reef’s health, or on the chances of the proposed long range plans being effective.

We wonder if there’s just not enough research to clearly establish the problems facing the reef, or if at least one side of the debate entrenched, much like the issues over the health impacts of smoking or asbestos before finally yielding to the facts. Either way, the reef loses out.

Great Barrier Reef keeps World Heritage Site Status

Action on fixing the Great Barrier Reef is ‘urgent’

Great Barrier Reef: Public reporting of water quality 'misleading at worst', Queensland auditor-general says

Greg Hunt trumpeted Great Barrier Reef health to UN weeks after alert to contrary report

Great Barrier Reef showing signs of regrowth and new coral colonies

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as  many other local sources in the dive community.

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