All references to climate change’s impact on World Heritage sites in Australia have been removed from a United Nations report.
A draft of the report contained a chapter on the Great Barrier Reef and references to Kakadu and Tasmania.
But Australia’s Department of the Environment requested that Unesco scrub these sections from the final version.
A statement from the department said the report could have had an impact on tourism to Australian.
It also said the report’s title, Destinations at Risk, had
“the potential to cause considerable confusion”.
“In particular, the World Heritage Committee had only six months earlier decided not to include the Great Barrier Reef on the in-danger list and commended Australia for the Reef 2050 Plan,”
the statement said.
“The department was concerned that the framing of the report confused two issues – the world heritage status of the sites and risks arising from climate change and tourism.”
“Recent experience in Australia had shown that negative commentary about the status of world heritage properties impacted on tourism.”