Great Barrier Reef under threat

Reuters
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The world's largest living structure is in danger.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is under imminent threat from development, according to a U.N. Report.

UNESCO - the United Nation's Educational Cultural and Scientific Organisation - is recommending that the site be put on an official danger list next year if urgent action isn't taken.

Coastal development, ports and extreme weather are just some of the pressures threatening the world heritage site, according to UNESCO.

Australia's environment minister says tough decisions will need to be made.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER TONY BURKE SAYING:

"The report effectively views the Great Barrier Reef at being at a cross roads where there have been challengers to the Great Barrier Reef for some time and some very significant decisions which will be coming to both myself as a Federal Environment Minister and to the Queensland Government."

UNESCO, which also cited the large number of approvals for planned developments in the area in recent years, is calling for clear legal targets on the reef's condition to be set.

Sunita Rappai Reuters

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