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UNESCO has ‘serious concern’ over the Australian Great Barrier Reef

Two years after a warning by UNESCO, the Great Barrier Reef is still under threat

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In 2015, the Australian government released the Australia's Reef 2050 Plan in an effort to prevent its cultural site being placed under the United Nation's Danger List. VOA
  • UNESCO is the cultural body of the United Nations
  • It has urged Australia to save the Great Barrier Reef under ‘serious concern’
  • Australia’s Reef 2050 Plan made in an effort to prevent its heritage site being placed under the United Nation’s Danger List

June 04, 2017: The Australian Great Barrier Reef is one of the many World Heritage Sites under the UNESCO list. On Saturday, UNESCO expressed its concern as the Heritage Site still faces major threats.

UNESCO has urged the Australian government to take stronger measures and accelerate efforts towards protecting the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is a significant tourist attraction for Australia.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

In a draft report to World Heritage Committee, UNESCO said that climate change is a major threat to this coral expanse. The committee also expressed its concern on the bleaching and mortality of coral reefs.

In 2015, the Australian government released the Australia’s Reef 2050 Plan in an effort to prevent its heritage site being placed under the United Nation’s Danger List. Negative rating of the Great Barrier will hurt the Australian image and tourism industry.

The plan had a $1.38 billion investment strategy. Initially, it was praised by UNESCO. Gradually it realized that stronger legislation was needed. The law required for clearing lands has not been passed.

The Great Barrier is threatened by a number of factors. The water quality has been poor due to agricultural runoffs. Coastal development combined with illegal fishing is also a major threat.

The Reef 2050 plan has not been successful. Since the inception of the plan, the Great Barrier has “an unprecedented loss of coral”. Large parts of the reef were destroyed by back to back coral bleaching events.

UNESCO believes that the action of the Australian government has been ineffective and that the water quality targets set have not been met. The overall progress has been slow.

Climate change remains an issue where answers are still sought. It is a prime threat to the corals and an issue that is out of Australia’s individual efforts.

 – by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Hindu Icons Which Have Spiritual Significance

These icons have to be treated with extreme respect and should not be touched or removed without the owners consent.

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rangoli
Rangoli, Toran, Aum and Swastika – optional display inside or outside the home. Pixabay

Hindu Council of Australia has compiled a list of Hindu Icons that Hindus may wear on their body and which have spiritual significance. This list has been made to remove confusion among non-Hindus about what is sacred to Hindus.

Hindu Sacraments worn on the body

Hindu icons all year round

bangles
Bangles worn on wrists by women – a cultural item. Pixabay

Scared Hindu icons that can not be removed

  1. Nose stud – essential for girls during puberty, can not be removed for one year.
  2. Yajnopavit/Janaue – essential for boys after their Yajnopavit right of passage, once worn can not be removed and worn again without extensive rituals (not even during swimming lessons)
  3. Sindoor/Mangalsutra – essential for married women. Removal is not permitted while husband is alive.
  4. Choti/Shikha – small hair tail for boys during a right of passage.
  5. Pagdi (Turban, A cloth wrapped around the head) – touching or removing it is disrespectful. It can be removed for a short period in privacy, like when having a shower and must be worn as soon as possible.
  6. Sivalingam (Veera and Adi Shiva people, Lingayat) or other Hindu Gods as pendant in a necklace.

Sacred Hindu icons that can be removed by the wearer

  1. Bindi – optional for women and girls, it can not be removed by others.
  2. Bangles worn on wrists by women – a cultural item
  3. Kondhani – a bracelet made of black thread worn around the waist
  4. Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles
  5. Ear rings/studs for boys and girls in some families
  6. Gem stone on rings for special effects of planets
  7. Hindu Sacraments worn on Special Occasions

    Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles
    Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles. Pixabay
  1. Tulsi Mala – A necklace of Tulsi beads. During special religious observations.
  2. Teeka, Tilak, Vibhuti – essential during Hindu prayers, optional otherwise
  3. Mehendi/henna/turmeric – essential when getting married or when a close family member gets married, optional for married women during karva chauth day. Henna is a fast colour (looks like a emporary tatto) that takes a week or more to fade away
  4. Men are not allowed to cut their hair during Sabramalai month (Mid of November to January 14/15)
  5. Rakhi – a special bracelet worn on special festival day of Rakhi.
  6. Kajal/Surma (dark black eye ointment)
  7. Raksha/mouli – multi colour thread bracelet as a protective icon during special days
  8. Gajra – a flower arrangement by woman at the back of there hair.

Hindu icons in a Hindu home

These icons have to be treated with extreme respect and should not be touched or removed without the owners consent.

  1. Rangoli, Toran, Aum and Swastika – optional display inside or outside the home.
  2. Home shrine

(Originally Published: Hindu Council of Australia)