The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is a culturally significant Australian icon that contributes to the world economically, socially and environmentally. It is important for income, marine research, recreational activities and residential amenity. Financially, it generates $5-6 billion per annum in tourism[ CITATION Ano15 l 1033 ], $193 million from the commercial fishing sector, $332 million in recreation and $102 million in scientific research [ CITATION Del13 l 1033 ]. 69,000 people are employed due to this volume of activity, contributing to Australia's globally low unemployment rate [ CITATION SBS13 l 1033 ]. The GBR provides sanctuary for 1625 species of fish, 1400 species of coral, six of the seven species of marine turtle, 30 species of whales and dolphins, 133 species of sharks and rays and one of the most prominent dugong populations among many other known and undiscovered classes of underwater beings (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2015). In the last thirty years, 50 per cent of the reef's coral cover has deteriorated due to various environmental and human threats and challenges [ CITATION Nor15 l 1033 ]. .
UNESCO's concern initiated in 2011 when Australia failed to notify the World Heritage Centre of LNG development plans on Curtis Island while under obligation [ CITATION Pro13 l 1033 ]. Following this, research and documentation showed a lack of maintenance in the subsequent years [ CITATION Pro13 l 1033 ]. The continually declining condition of the GBR requires immediate and extensive attention to preserve its unique biodiversity. By listing the GBR endangered, UNESCO will take control of its management. Management plans will be developed with Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to allow approved activities and traffic, but in accordance with guidelines set by UNESCO.
Threats and Challenges.
In response to Australia's submission of The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, UNESCO has apprehensions regarding its policy.