UNESCO Condemns Australia for Great Barrier Reef Proposal

Beijing (AP) — China’s organizer of this year’s UN conference, the World Heritage Committee, said on Sunday the Great Barrier Reef in response to the Australian government’s allegations that China influenced the findings for political reasons. Defended the organization’s proposal to label the as “at risk”.

The committee, which will effectively meet in Fuzhou, China for the next two weeks, will consider the draft decision on Friday.

“Australia, as a member of the World Heritage Committee, should take the views of its advisory bodies and seriously fulfill its obligations to protect World Heritage, rather than making unfounded charges against other states.” , Tian Xuejun said. Deputy Minister of Education of China and President of this year’s session.

The UNESCO Commission will consider adding new sites to the World Heritage list, removing some and adding other sites to the endangered category.The decision to put Venice on the dangerous list prompted the Italian government Ban cruise ships From the city of Lagoon to avoid designation.

At the first press conference since the meeting last Friday, Tian said the Great Barrier Reef’s proposal was based on data from Australia and recommendations from advisory bodies.

Australia Reacted angry When the draft was released last month.

“There was a flaw in this decision. Obviously there was politics behind it,” Environment Minister Susan Lee said without mentioning China.

In recent years, relations between the two countries have deteriorated, with Australia blocking investment in China’s technology and major infrastructure, and China taking measures such as tariffs to reduce imports from Australia.

Australia was warned in 2014 that a dangerous list of the Great Barrier Reef, which was designated a World Heritage Site in 1981, is under consideration.

The draft decision is a long-term plan for reefs in Australia, a network of 2,500 coral reefs covering 348,000 square kilometers (134,000 square miles). Is needed. “

“We very much acknowledge the work done in Australia, but our text in the draft decision is … a suggestion to endanger the site on the World Heritage List due to identified threats. “Mechtild said wrestler, director of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Ernesto Ottone Ramirez, UNESCO’s Assistant Director of Culture, said the endangered list should be seen as a collective call for action from all Member States.

Attending a press conference from Paris, he said, “it should be seen as positive, not as punishment, as I have heard from some authorities in other countries.” “It’s a way we preserve our heritage for future generations.”

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