UNESCO warns over Tasmania logging, mining

UNESCO has urged Australia to reconsider plans to allow logging in Tasmania's World Heritage Area. (AAP)

A UNESCO report has urged the Australian government to reconsider plans to allow logging and mining activity in Tasmania's World Heritage Area.

The Australian government should be embarrassed by a UN report expressing concern about the way Tasmania's World Heritage Area is being managed, a conservationist group says.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has urged the government to reconsider plans to allow logging and mining in the 1.5 million hectare area.

In a report released on Saturday, the committee says it "has repeatedly reiterated its position that mineral exploration and exploitation is incompatible with World Heritage status".

The report also says commercial logging and mining are not permitted within the entire property.

Bob Brown Foundation spokeswoman Jenny Weber has called on the government to deliver genuine heritage protection.

"We see it as really embarrassing," Ms Weber said.

The beauty and importance of Tasmania's wilderness has been underestimated, she said.

"It has some of the tallest forests in the world ... big jagged mountains, tall eucalyptus forests, some very unique species like the orange bellied parrot," she told AAP.

"The tourism potential for it is enormous, it's about managing that for low impact."

The UNESCO committee also says the cultural value of the area has not been clearly defined, despite repeated calls for this.

The UN rejected a bid by the Australian government last year to delist 74,000 hectares from the heritage zone.

Meanwhile, federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt says he plans to celebrate UNESCO's decision to leave the Great Barrier Reef off its "in-danger" list, despite warnings it can be added if protective measures are not satisfactory.

"I'm going to snorkel this reef this afternoon just to have a moment to myself to recognise that whatever we do nature does it better," he said on Saturday.

Source AAP

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