The 3 Week Diet System

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

UNESCO stops short of protecting Great Barrier Reef; environmentalists fume, Adani gets a breather

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July 01:

The environment lobby is clearly miffed. Greenpeace's Jess Panegyres said, "Until the plans for the massive coal mine and port expansion are dropped, it's impossible to take Australia's claims that they are protecting the reef seriously."



This file photo taken on November 20, 2014 shows an aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of the Whitsunday Islands, along the central coast of Queensland. Australia on July 2, 2015 hailed a United Nations decision to keep the Great Barrier Reef off its in danger list as "tremendous", but activists warned more must be done to improve the marine park`s health. AFP photo

UNESCO has refused to put Australia'sGreat Barrier Reef on its 'endangered' list, thereby clearing the docks for Adani to go ahead with its $16 billion coal mining project in Queensland.

The heritage committee of UNESCOcultural agency on Wednesday said that the outlook for the reef was 'poor' but did not enlist it on its most­watched list. This gives a sigh of relief to the Australian government which is dependent on the reef to get it billions of dollars in tourism revenue every year. Moreover, the legal hurdles in front of Adani Group for its mining project now have one less loop to jump from.


The environment lobby is clearly miffed. Greenpeace's Jess Panegyres said, "Until the plans for the massive coal mine and port expansion are dropped, it's impossible to take Australia's claims that they are protecting the reef seriously."

Greenpeace said that the reef was in danger from planned coal mining in the Galilee Basin in Queensland.

The reef is the largest living ecosystem in the world, and stretches across 2,000 km along the coast of Australia. It is bigger than the size of United Kingdom, Switzerland and the Netherlands combined.

This clears the deck for Adani Group to go ahead with its coal mining project in the area. The India­headquartered group has already spent over $1 billion on the project which is touted to be the world's third largest coal mine.

The Carmichael project in Queensland is one of the most ambitious mining projects which also hinges on the debate between sustainability of business and environment.

The local population and environmentalist groups have been against the coal mining project, and Adani Group has also been taken to court in Australia for flouting environmental norms. Moreover, the traditional landowners in the area have rejected Adani's project, creating more roadblocks for it to go ahead.

Frustrated with regulatory delays and opposition from various sections of the society, Adani last week halted engineering work on the project.

It said, “As a result of changes to a range of approvals over the time, it's necessary to synchronise our budget, project timelines and spending, to meet those changes. Accordingly, we have suspended detail engineering work.

However, the remaining activities related to the project are still continuing."

The project created issues with the environmentalists after they alleged that the coal mined from the Queensland area will be transported to Abbot Point Port through a railway line. The company plans to ship this coal to India to fuel its power plants and to sell it to its buyers across the globe.

Environmentalists allege that this port point is close to the ecologically sensitive and fragile Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian government has also been trying hard to make sure reef doesn't make it to the 'endangered' list as it will dry up billions flowing through the tourism pipeline.

The government has also announced a plan to spend nearly $2 billion over the next few years to safeguard the reef and to protect it.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-unesco-stops-short-of-protecting-great-barrier-reef-environmentalists-fume-adani-gets-a-breather-2100975?

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