27 Jan 2005

France proposes World Heritage status for New Caledonia reef

9:43 am on 27 January 2005

France is seeking World Heritage status for New Caledonia's coral reef.

The French President, Jacques Chirac, has made the announcement at an international meeting on biodiversity in Paris.

Two years ago, New Caledonia's anti-independence leader Jacques Lafleur lashed out at the French Green party over a proposed World Heritage listing for the reef.

A second application failed again in 2003, because it missed the deadline, although it was strongly supported by the Northern and Islands provinces and New Caledonia's Customary Senate.

New Caledonia's coral reef is about 1-thousand,6-hundred kilometres long, and is the biggest in the world after Australia's Great Barrier Reef.