Year of inscription on the World Heritage List
Great Barrier Reef: 1981
Great Barrier Reef: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Previous Committee Decisions:
See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475
See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective measures identified
"Focused Recommendations" have been grouped under five priority action areas as outlined below:
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Approved: 0USD
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Current conservation issues
Twenty-second session of the Committee – Chapter VII.27 and page 93 of Annex IV.
Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – Chapter IV.21.
Information document WHC-99/CONF.209/INF.5
New information: The twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau, in July 1999, requested the Australian Committee for IUCN (ACIUCN) and the State Party to review the 29 recommendations listed in the March 1999 ACIUCN report “Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area: Condition, Management and Threats”. The Bureau also requested the ACIUCN and the State Party to elaborate a more focused set of recommendations and a detailed plan for their implementation and monitoring. The Commonwealth Government of Australia in a letter dated 7 October 1999 transmitted a focused set of recommendations, and a detailed plan for their implementation and monitoring to the Centre and IUCN. These "Focused Recommendations" and the “Framework for management” of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) are included in WHC-99/CONF.209/INF.5.
IUCN has reviewed both the "Focused Recommendations" and the "Framework for management" of the GBRWHA. The "Focused Recommendations" have been grouped under five priority action areas as outlined below:
1. The Management of Land and Coastal Catchments (Recommendations 10 - 15 in the ACIUCN Report)
IUCN recommends that governments report on the development and implementation of strategic plans, and on environmental impact assessment and management initiatives undertaken, with particular attention to cumulative and interacting impacts, to ensure that activities including vegetation clearance, drainage and irrigation, urban, agricultural and pastoral land use, island developments and the disturbance of acid sulphate soils are only permitted if they do not have ecologically unsustainable impacts on the GBRWHA.
2. The Management of Fisheries (Recommendations 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 in the ACIUCN Report)
IUCN recommends that governments give high priority to the development and implementation of management plans with sustainability indicators for all fisheries in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. These should address not only the target species and stock but also bycatch and the condition of the ecosystem upon which the fishery depends.
3. The Management of Shipping and Ship Sourced Pollution (Recommendations 20 and 21 in the ACIUCN Report)
IUCN recommends that further international efforts should be taken to address the risks posed to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area by shipping with inadequately trained ships crews and inadequately maintained vessels.
4. Representative Marine Protected Areas (Recommendation 27 in the ACIUCN Report)
IUCN recommends as a matter of high priority that the percentage of no-take (IUCN category 1 and 2) areas within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area should be increased to achieve a comprehensive adequate and representative system of protected areas.
5. Resources for Research and Management (Recommendations 28 and 29 in the ACIUCN Report)
IUCN recommends that the State Party provide adequate funding to managing authorities and other relevant agencies for research and vital management essential for maintenance of the values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This should include the provision to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority of a core budget from general revenue sufficient to allow it to meet its World Heritage obligations.
For each of the above five action areas, the "Framework for management" elaborates the following:
· a brief background to the recommendation;
· key issues;
· the actions proposed;
· an indication of the lead agency (and other agencies involved);
· the date when the action is due;
· any additional comments; and
· main references for further information relating to the recommendation.
IUCN considers the "Framework for management" as proposed by the State Party to be comprehensive and that it establishes a basis for monitoring the implementation of the "Focused recommendations". IUCN commends the work undertaken by the State Party in full consultation with the State Government of Queensland and ACIUCN and other concerned stakeholders and welcomes this consultative approach. IUCN reiterates its view that catchment issues pose the most serious threat to the GBRWHA and notes the urgency of the need for effective integrated catchment management to reduce environmental impact on the World Heritage site. IUCN however, notes and agrees with the State Party that many of these issues will require social and economic changes of a scale which will take years to achieve, such as in relation to modification of land use related impacts and the management of fisheries. This underlines the importance of developing strategic objectives and actions to ensure the long term protection of the GBRWHA and establish a plan to monitor their implementation as has been established in the "Framework for management".
Decision Adopted: 23COM X.B.23
X.23 Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
The Committee recalled the reports from the twenty-third ordinary and the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau on the state of conservation of this property and adopted the following decision:
"The Committee noted progress reported on the "Focused Recommendations" and the "Framework for management" relating to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) at the twenty-third and the twenty-third extraordinary sessions of the Bureau. IUCN noted the framework for action, which has been prepared and that it concerns a long-term strategy.
The Committee accepted the "Focused Recommendations", and the "Framework for management" of the GBRWHA as a basis for monitoring the implementation of those recommendations. The Committee commended the process and the product arising from the consultative approach used in monitoring the state of conservation of the GBRWHA and recommends its adoption as an approach to other World Heritage natural properties in Australia. The Committee invited the State Party to submit progress reports on the implementation of the "Focused Recommendations" to the annual sessions of the Committee for review."