Khaled Al Khawaldeh
Australia’s inaction on climate change has once again come under the spotlight as a new international report singled out five of the nations most revered natural landmarks as being under threat from the effects of climate change.
The report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which reviewed the conservation of 252 natural world heritage sites around the world, compared the status of UNESCO world heritage sites between 2017 and 2020. It found that within Oceania five Australian sites had deteriorated including the Great barrier reef which is now considered in ‘critical’ danger.
Climate Change and severe weather along with invasive species were found to be the top threats to the planet’s natural wonders with Australia in particular danger due to its geography and lack of solid environmental protections in recent years.
‘This is yet another warning sign. Climate change is the number one threat to the unique places and wildlife that we as Australian’s cherish,’ said Chief Councillor and climate scientist Professor Tim Flannery.
‘The Morrison government’s inaction on climate change is putting these places, and the Australian jobs and economies that depend on them at-risk. It will be signing the death certificate of these incredible ecosystems if it fails to act,’ said Professor Flannery.
Black Summer Bushfires
The report also highlighted the devastating effects that last year’s bushfires had on the critical ecological sites of the Greater Blue Mountains Area and our own Gondwana Rainforest.
Both sites had previously been considered in 2017 to be well protected but have now been downgraded to areas of significant concern.
The severity and longevity of last year’s bushfires have been widely linked by scientists to climate change.
‘Australia has suffered through devastating bushfires, prolonged drought, a third mass bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef in five years, and most recently the hottest spring ever recorded,’ said Professor Flannery.
‘This is what climate change looks like, and we are on the frontline here in Australia,’ he said.