The is the introduction to UNESCO’s description of the Great Barrier Reef in its World Heritage proclamation.
“The Great Barrier Reef is a site of remarkable variety and beauty on the north-east coast of Australia. It contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc. It also holds great scientific interest as the habitat of species such as the dugong (‘sea cow’) and the large green turtle, which are threatened with extinction.”
When I first went to Port Douglas in the later 1980’s I was bedazzled by how lovely it was. I had seen the photos and post card images but I didn’t for a minute imagine that is what it was really like. And it wasn’t, no photo can do the reef and the sea and sand that runs alongside it, justice. It is unbelievable. I have been telling anybody who will listen to visit before the reef in all its glorious colors and diversity is gone forever.
Now UNESCO which listed The Great Barrier Reef for World Heritage status in 1981, is planning on listing it as in danger.