Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Coral heritage petition

I've been tardy in noting reports such as Roger Harrabin's (radio and online) regarding a petition pressing the United Nations World Heritage Sites Committee to acknowledge that climate change is already damaging sites such as the Great Barrier and the Belize Barrier Reefs.

Harrabin notes that there will be determined opposition, with objections such as:
  • There is no conclusive proof that the reefs are being damaged by greenhouse gas emissions
  • Any damage to the reef is accidental, so it does not breach the World Heritage Sites Treaty
  • Accepting the petition on a controversial issue such as climate change would spoil the harmonious relations of the World Heritage Committee
How would these objections would fare under legal and scientific scrutiny, not to speak of the court of public opinion? How will they fare at the WHC, which meets between 8 and 16 July?

(for a further comment on some legal questions, see US "legally obliged" to protect reefs)

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