The UNESCO world heritage centre has expressed concern over a bushfire in Australia. The blaze damaged Gondwana-era rainforests of New South Wales and southern Queensland. The UNESCO has asked the Australian government whether it is affecting their world heritage values. In a statement on its website, UNESCO stated, "Centre has been receiving many expressions of concern from the media and civil society over the possible impact of bushfires on the World Heritage property, Gondwana Rainforests of Australia".
"The World Heritage Centre is currently verifying the information with the Australian authorities, in particular regarding the potential impact of the fires on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The Centre has been closely following-up on this matter and stands ready to provide any technical assistance at the request of Australian authorities," the statement read. Scientists say the bushfire in Australia's Gondwana rainforests have been unprecedented because this is the first time the blaze has destroyed historically wet areas.
According to UNESCO's website, "The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia is a serial property comprising the major remaining areas of rainforest in southeast Queensland and northeast New South Wales. It represents outstanding examples of major stages of the Earth’s evolutionary history, ongoing geological and biological processes, and exceptional biological diversity." The Gondwana rainforests are the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest in the world. The rainforests are so-named because the fossil record indicates that when Gondwana existed it was covered by rainforests with the same kind of species that are living today. Gondwana was a supercontinent that existed 550 million years ago before the Jurassic happened 180 million years ago.
As of November 18, 2019, 4,100,000 acres have been burnt, more than the past three fire seasons in total. 476 homes in New South Wales have been destroyed since the start of the bushfire season this year. In Queensland, three houses were lost to cobraball fire, which also burned through 27,000 acres of land.