The Australian Greens have welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government of its nomination of WA's Ningaloo Reef to the World Heritage list, however they are concerned about the boundaries of the area nominated.
“As Australia's largest fringing coral reef and an area that has a fascinating array of land and marine ecosystems, Ningaloo certainly deserves this nomination, which is why the Greens have been calling for it for some time," the Greens' Marine Spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“The boundary of the area is essentially limited to those areas already in the conservation estate and it is not as comprehensive as recommended by a number of experts.
“There is almost a total absence of any new areas in the nomination that were not already protected in other ways.
“I do, however, welcome the inclusion of the Muiron Islands, as these are important islands worthy of inclusion in this nomination.
“Supporters of the environmental values of this area would also have liked to have seen inclusion of a broader area of the Cape Range and the surrounding region, including the internationally significant Lake MacLeod.
“I'm concerned that the Federal Government backed down in the face of pressure from vested interests in the area, which may affect the integrity of the nomination.
“I'm also concerned that the current nomination may not meet the comprehensive criteria required for a World Heritage nomination and that the international assessment team may knock it back on the basis of skimping on the boundaries.”
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