UN REJECTS BID TO STRIP TASMANIAN FOREST'S WORLD HERITAGE STATUS
The United Nations has rejected a bid by the Australian government to delist 74,000 hectares of forest from Tasmania’s World Heritage Area. The area in question is part of the 170,000 hectares of forest that had been added to the World Heritage Area in 2013 by the former federal and state Labor governments as part of a deal between the forest industry and green groups. According to Australia’s Abbott government, the area they proposed to delist was not worthy of World Heritage status, as it had been damaged by prior logging. At the World Heritage Committee meeting in Doha last week, however, the proposal was unanimously rejected. The Portuguese delegation called the proposal “feeble” and argued that agreeing to it “would be setting an unacceptable precedent.” Although Prime Minister Abbott was disappointed by the court's decision, Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the government has accepted the outcome and will abide by it. For the full story, see http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/abbott-government-bid-to-delist-tasmanian-heritage-forest-dismissed-20140624-zskeh.html and http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/06/24/us-australia-environment-unesco-idUKKBN0EZ0KA20140624.