Science & Environment

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Australia's dilemma over the Great Barrier Reef

22 October 2014 Last updated at 21:23 BST

The Great Barrier Reef off the north-east coast of Australia is regarded as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

But scientists says 50 percent of the coral has been destroyed over the past three decades due to a host of environmental factors.

The United Nations says the World Heritage Site may soon be listed as endangered.

The UN is especially concerned about the expansion of profitable coal mining operations along the Queensland coast in close proximity to the reef.

The BBC's Australia correspondent Jon Donnison weighs up the two sides of the debate.