Kakadu world listing threatened


By Adriaan Anarco-Troika

DARWIN - The World Heritage listing of Kakadu National Park could be under threat, the national Resource Assessment Commission was told last week.

During a two-day hearing in Darwin, Australian Conservation Foundation bio-diversity coordinator Mike Krockenberg explained that "the World Heritage Committee could consider that approval to mine at Coronation Hill would put at risk the World Heritage values of the park".

It is no longer possible for the Commonwealth to nominate Stage 3 of Kakadu for World Heritage listing simply as an addition to the areas already nominated. Under new guidelines, the government would have to submit new nominations for the whole park, Krockenberg said.

"RAC needs to take [this] into account ... because the committee has already expressed concern over the potential impact of mining in the Kakadu region."

Krockenberg said the values of the area are unique and irreplaceable. Kakadu is one of only 12 areas on the world list for both cultural and environmental values.

"Obviously, if the World Heritage Committee did refuse to include Kakadu on its list following the nomination of stage three, the decision would have significant impact on Australia's international environmental credentials, including serious embarrassment for the Australian government, damage to Australia's reputation, and serious implications for any future nominations to the World Heritage list", Krockenberg said.

The inquiry will hear further evidence in Sydney before preparing its final assessment of the Kakadu Conservation Zone, due to be handed to the government at the end of this month.


Reprinted from Green Left, weekly progressive newspaper. May

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