Debate over the role of economic activity near UNESCO heritage sites

Tamsin Scholz for AL JAZEERA

Tensions have arisen at the UNESCO council over Australia’s dredging near the Great Barrier Reef.

The reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981.

Italy criticised Australia’s use of dredging so close to the site of the reef, and cited concerns about its contributions to global warming.

It argued rising sea levels would specifically affect Italy, and that Australia had no right to criticise other states for their policies.

Canada, who was one of the states criticised by Australia, said that economic development is an important aspect of tourism but that some regulations should apply.

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