Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Australia announces record investment in Great Barrier Reef protection

The package will help develop coral that is more resistant to high temperatures and light stress The package will help develop coral that is more resistant to high temperatures and light stress
Andy Castillo | 01 May, 2018, 12:41

The Australian government has pledged A$500 million ($379.10 million) in funding to the Great Barrier Reef.

In 2016 and 2017, successive marine heatwaves destroyed about 50% of the corals in the northern area of the reef, as it has been reported by a research issued this month. The higher sea temperatures resulting from climate changes result in coral bleaching.

Kelly O'Shanassy, CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation, also stressed that climate change and the use of fossil fuels are the major cause of the reef's destruction.

"The more we know about the reef, the better we can protect it", explained yesterday Josh Frydenberg, the Ministry of Environment.

In the past two years alone, coral bleaching has caused an estimated 50 percent of the entire reef to die-off.

Greenpeace's CEO for the Australia Pacific region said the investment did nothing to tackle the impacts of climate change at the source. "You can't have both", Ms Casule said in a Greenpeace statement on Sunday.

"Science advises us the [Great Barrier Reef] is highly vulnerable to climate change", the Australian Academy of Science wrote on Twitter. The opposition said the government could still fail to reach its target to reduce emissions 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

"As a highly respected philanthropic organisation, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has a strong fundraising track record, and will seek corporate contributions to further enhance this work", the prime minister said. But the fact remains that the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef?

"If the Turnbull government was serious about saving the Reef they would be willing to take on the industry responsible for the damage", said Bill McKibben, the American founder of anti-climate-change group 350.org.

Arizona teachers historic statewide walkout is latest demonstration in #RedForEd movement
It would permit schools to use some of those dollars for pay raises for support staff, people not included in the governor's plan. Meanwhile, the strike that has closed most schools entered its second day on Friday, with another rally on the Capitol lawn.

The Great Barrier Reef is considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is the largest living structure on the planet. We must ensure our reef managers and scientists are better equipped to manage and monitor our reefs, working smarter than ever before.

By this point, the damage to the Great Barrier Reef may be irreversible, no matter how much money we throw at it.

"Today's major investment brings real solutions within our grasp".

"These funds represent an unequaled opportunity to create a legacy of hope for future generations".

"I have great optimism that together we will protect this fantastic icon and all its brilliant biodiversity".

The money will be used to improve water quality, control predators such as the crown-of-thorns starfish, a poisonous coral-eating predator, and expand reef restoration. Moreover, millions of people across the world depend on the reef for survival.

The Marine Park Authority will also receive an additional $42.7 million for its joint field management program over the next six years.

The new package build on the joint $2 billion Australian and Queensland Governments' Reef 2050 Plan.

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