Australia to challenge UNESCO downgrade of Great Barrier Reef

Beijing has dismissed accusations it is behind a move to list the Great Barrier Reef as being "in danger". Australia had suggested that the recommendation was politically motivated, without pointing fingers. China chairs the UNESCO committee. The UNESCO committee noted that the reef’s long-term outlook has deteriorated. Environmental group WWF said it’s unlikely politics had a part to play, and that the recommendation is the result of expert consensus. Australia has fought to keep the reef off the endangered list to prevent it from being stripped of its status as a World Heritage site.

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