Coalition bid to strip Tasmanian forests of world heritage cover 'disappointing'

9 November 2014

The head of the world’s leading conservation organisation has criticised the Australian government’s attempt to strip world heritage protection from Tasmania’s forests, as new data laid bare the vast number of ecosystems in Australia at risk of collapse.

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, director general of the IUCN, the body that advises the United Nations on conservation matters, told Guardian Australia it was “disappointing” that the Abbott government had launched a bid to remove 74,000ha of Tasmanian forest from world heritage protection.

A meeting in June of Unesco’s world heritage committee took just nine minutes to reject Australia’s proposal. Portugal’s delegate heaped further embarrassment upon the Coalition by calling its rationale for the removal “feeble”.

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