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Australia failing Unesco demands on Barrier Reef: WWF

Published on Feb 1, 2013 7:01 AM
 
A handout photograph shows an island of the Great Barrier Reef in Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia, on Monday, May 4, 2009. Australia said on Friday that protecting the Great Barrier Reef was a top priority, but conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature said not enough had been done to prevent Unesco from deeming it a world heritage site "in danger". -- PHOTO : BLOOMBERG

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia insisted on Friday that protecting the Great Barrier Reef was a top priority, but conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said not enough had been done to prevent Unesco from deeming it a world heritage site "in danger".

In June, Unesco demanded decisive action from Australia to protect the world's largest coral reef from a gas and mining boom and increasing coastal development, or risk the embarrassment of seeing it put on the danger list.

The deadline it gave Canberra to outline how it planned to improve management and protection and meet key targets recommended by the World Heritage Committee ran out on Friday.

In releasing its response to Unesco, Environment Minister Tony Burke said the government was "absolutely committed" to protecting the reef.

 
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