Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Barrier Reef Budget Boost

Australia to Allocate $500Mln to Protect Great Barrier Reef From Climate Change Turnbull has committed $500 million to a protection package for the Great Barrier Reef
Delores Daniels | 29 April, 2018, 21:43

UNESCO considered putting it on the "in danger" list previous year due to recent widespread destruction but voted against it, allowing Australia's conservative government to dodge political embarrassment and potential damage to the country's tourism industry.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said the Reef's destruction could be pinned on fossil fuels.

The Great Barrier Reef, which can be seen from space, covers 348,000 square kilometers and was world-heritage listed in 1981 as the most spectacular coral reef on the planet, according to the website of the United Nations cultural body UNESCO. 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.

"To simultaneously promote the world's biggest coal mine (Adani) while pretending to care about the world's largest reef is an acrobatic feat only a cynical politician would attempt".

"The Australian Government will protect thousands of jobs, improve water quality, tackle coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish and implement scientific reef restoration on the Great Barrier Reef", the Australian government said in a statement released on April 29.

Australian Conservation Foundation chief Kelly O'Shanassy agreed.

He said there was no doubt climate change had put the Reef under threat, but said there were tangible things Australia could do to build its resilience.

Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the pledge - announced on Sunday ahead of the May budget - was a game-changer and would help secure the reef's future.

"We must improve water quality".

"It will ensure that we tackle the crown-of-thorns. and use the best available science to ensure our coral is resilient to heat and light stress".

A study in the journal Nature said some 30 percent of the reef's coral perished, the first of an unprecedented two successive years of coral bleaching along the 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) reef.

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