The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), welcomes the Federal Labor Party’s promise to fast-track the nomination of Ningaloo Reef by February 2008 if it is elected. But AMCS warns that the minimalist boundaries proposed by the WA State Government may not encompass enough of the areas ecosystems to actually achieve World Heritage listing.
Dennis Beros, spokesperson for the Society, said “The World Heritage Committee may well reject the proposal because it fails their INTEGRITY TEST”.
“Ningaloo Reef does not exist in isolation. There are critical scientific relationships between it and the Exmouth Gulf and other ecosystems in the vicinity. To propose such tiny boundaries, some of which ignore the land/sea interface and run along the shoreline, as the WA Government proposes is to admit that local politics have won the day”, he said.
“The State Government’s own World Heritage Consultative Committee understood this and recommended that boundaries go far beyond the existing conservation estate (Ningaloo Marine Park and Cape Range National Park) and picked up Exmouth Gulf, Lake MacLeod, the Yanrey River systems and other important parts of the bioregional ‘whole’,” Dennis Beros said.
“The State Government’s weak proposal is an admission of their failure to sell the very real benefits of WA World Heritage values to the region and the state.”
“The Federal Labor party would do all Australian’s a mighty service if they were to insist that it will support only a solid nomination with a very good chance of achieving addition to the illustrious World Heritage list,” Mr Beros concluded.
Ningaloo Spokesperson Dennis Beros 0409 244 029