They visited a number of locations to consider the status of the Reef's health, the pressures facing the ecosystem, including increasing coastal development, and the management arrangements in place to protect the World Heritage Area.
The mission met with a range of interested stakeholders, including representatives of the fishing and tourism industries, scientists and researchers, ports and shipping authorities, Traditional Owners, Reef Guardian Fishers; Farmers, Schools and Councils and members of Local Marine Advisory Committees.
They also considered ways in which they can contribute to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area strategic assessment process while on the mission.
State of Conservation Report
Following the mission, UNESCO drafted a State of Conservation Report on the Great Barrier Reef. This report was released in early June 2012. It provides a short overview of the ecosystem health and management of the Great Barrier Reef.
- State of Conservation Report (WHC-12/36.COM/7B.Add)
- Media release - Minister welcomes UNESCO's Great Barrier Reef Report
- GBRMPA statement - World Heritage Centre releases State of Conservation Report
The State of Conservation report includes a draft decision which was accepted by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th meeting in St Petersburg from 24 June to 6 July 2012.
UNESCO Mission Report
A detailed report on the UNESCO Reactive Monitoring Mission’s visit and conclusions was released on 19 June 2012. This report provides background material from which the State of Conservation report was developed.
The full Mission Report was presented to the World Heritage Committee meeting in St Petersburg, when the State of Conservation report and the draft decision were discussed.
The threats to the Reef highlighted in both the State of Conservation and the Mission Report are clearly acknowledged in the ‘Outlook Report’ on the Great Barrier Reef that was prepared by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in 2009.
UNESCO continues to acknowledge that our management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is still considered to be international best practice in many areas.
The Mission Report recognises “the excellence of many aspects of the management” of the Great Barrier Reef, and notes that efforts "to conserve the area as a whole over the 31 years it has been inscribed on the World Heritage List are remarkable”.
UNESCO Committee decision
On 29 June 2012, the World Heritage Committee accepted the draft decision on the state of conservation of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area released by UNESCO in June (see above).
If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.
The Great Barrier Reef is a hive of activity. If you're lucky enough to see a humpback whale from May to September, make sure you keep a safe distance.
We're delighted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park's World Heritage listing.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing plants, animals and habitats. There are a range of tourism experiences on offer.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this Great Australian icon.
If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL
(1300 264 625)
A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.