Great Barrier reef escapes in-danger listing from UNESCO

Despite warnings this spring from the United Nations that the Great Barrier reef may be classified as a World Heritage Site in-danger, the Australia government escaped the designation.

On Wednesday UNESCO's 21 member-country World Heritage Committee voted in Bonn, Germany to keep the reef off the in-danger list after lobbying from the Australian Government. The United Nations group was concerned about government plans to dump huge volumes of mud and rock in nearby waters as part of the Abbot Point coal port expansion.

Greg Hunt, Australia's Minister for the Environment, convinced the group that his government had a plan to keep the reef from harm.

"The final decision upholds the earlier draft decision, and rightly reflects the tremendous effort of Australia to carefully protect this iconic national and international asset through the development of the recently released Reef 2050 Plan," said Hunt in a statement.

"This is great news for Australia. It’s great news for Queensland. And it’s great news for the Great Barrier Reef."

Image from Wikipedia