Ningaloo given World Heritage status

Posted: 06/30/2011 in all marine news

Angela Pownall – 

WA’s Ningaloo coast has been awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO at a meeting in Paris.

The inscription gives international recognition and protection to the area after a seven-year campaign by the Federal and State governments to secure a successful nomination.

UNESCO made its decision on the sixth day of its 2011 session, declaring the area was a worthy addition to the list of places around the world deemed to have unique global significance and value.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke said the inscription was a major achievement.

“The Ningaloo coast’s striking land and seascape tells a dramatic story about the formation of oceans, movement of continents and changes in our climate,” he said. “With more than 200km of spectacular coral reef off a rugged limestone peninsula, the Ningaloo coast is a stunning and unique contrast between reef and arid landscape.”

Conservation group WWF said the listing would put the protection of the Ningaloo coast under much greater scrutiny and deter industry from proposing potentially damaging projects near the area.

Paul Gamblin, who has led the organisation’s Save Ningaloo campaign for more than a decade, said the case for World Heritage status was abundantly clear as it was one of the most pristine coral reefs in the world.

“It’s really important because it builds the profile of the natural and cultural value in the eyes of people who perhaps don’t know a great deal about it,” he said.

The decision was made by UNESCO’s world heritage committee, which is made up of representatives from 21 countries, including Australia.

Ningaloo’s World Heritage site covers the 260km continuous stretch of reef and the adjacent rugged limestone coastline of Cape Range National Park, a 708,350ha area of land and ocean.

Not everyone has been supportive of the listing.

Full story… 

 

 

 

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