India, June 23 -- The World Heritage Committee under UNESCO has proposed to downgrade the status of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, recommending it to be added to the list of World Heritage sites in danger. The committee said it's recommendation is based on the detrimental impact of climate change.

Irked by the decision, Australia said it will challenge UNESCO's draft recommendation. "For us to be singled out in a way that completely distorts the normal process was something we were very strong about. And we made the point that we will challenge this decision when it comes before the full committee later on in July," Environment minister Sussan Ley said, noting that the authorities were "blindsided by a sudden late decision".

UNESCO's p...