1 Million Women Reef Campaign
We are women of the world urging the World Heritage Committee to protect the Great Barrier Reef by officially declaring it ‘World Heritage in Danger’.
We are taking this message to the 3 key international decision-makers (all of whom are women) who will influence the fate of the Reef.
This is the most powerful action we can take to ensure its protection.
Please add your name to support this action.
We are women of Australia and the world making this appeal directly to you, the three women heads of the World Heritage Committee and its expert advisers, UNESCO and the IUCN, currently considering the Great Barrier Reef for declaration as 'World Heritage in Danger'.
Although we wish it were otherwise, we are urging the World Heritage Committee to list it as ‘World Heritage in Danger’ to stop further irreversible damage and to protect it for generations to come.
The reef’s plight is unbearably sad. Its story is the story of climate change:
- Recognised as World Heritage in 1981 for its Outstanding Universal Value, the reef is in crisis.
- The pressures it now faces are undermining the very reasons for its original listing as World Heritage.
- This vast, incredible eco-system is being overwhelmed by climate change with its destructive combination of heat-driven coral bleaching, ocean acidification and turbo-charged tropical storms, as well as the Crown of Thorns starfish, and nutrient and chemical laden run-off from the land.
- An estimated half of the reef’s coral cover already has been lost in the three decades since the reef was inscribed as World Heritage
And now, on top of all of this, the massive industrialisation of the adjacent coastline for coal and gas ports is adding even more development pressures, including dumping millions of tonnes of dredge waste into reef waters, and an anticipated doubling of shipping movements through the reef to send more fossil fuels around the world adding more pollution to the atmosphere.
In this open letter we are urging the World Heritage Committee to:
- Not be swayed by assurances from the Australian Government and/or State of Queensland that fears for the reef are overblown and that its protection is in hand.
- Ensure that there is no diverting from the fact that the ‘reef is in danger’ and for you to proceed with its World Heritage in Danger listing this year or at the latest in 2015.
There comes a time when the self-defensive protestations of individual nations must be overridden precisely because World Heritage is so special, and the responsibility for its protection is shared globally. That time has arrived for the Great Barrier Reef.