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Legarda Supports AU Gov’t Efforts to Protect Great Barrier Reef

December 17, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today expressed her support to the Australian Government’s efforts to protect and manage the Great Barrier Reef to maintain its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, made the statement following a meeting with Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell on 17 December 2014.

“I welcome and support the Australian Government’s efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef and make sure it is not inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger. The Great Barrier Reef is a very important natural resource and the Australian Government needs the support of the international community to effectively carry out measures to further protect the outstanding universal value of the site,” she stressed.

The World Heritage Committee (WHC) has raised concerns over the health and inadequate management of the Great Barrier Reef. In response, the Australian Government developed the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, an overarching framework for protecting and managing the Great Barrier Reef from 2015 to 2050.

Legarda also said that the Philippines and Australia have many opportunities for cooperation especially in terms of coral reef conservation research based on management practices in the Great Barrier Reef and Philippine marine protected areas.

“Like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, our Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our countries can work together and share experiences in managing our respective marine resources to come up with a strengthened cooperative effort on reef restoration and protection and marine biodiversity conservation. Even if we are different nations, we live in one planet and we should all do our part in saving the world’s natural treasures,” said Legarda.