Australia has promised to make funds available to restore and protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Australian Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull announced in late April the government’s willingness to spend $ 500 million to improve water quality, protect the ecosystem of species and increase restoration efforts at the Great Barrier Reef.
The World Heritage site is currently threatened by coral bleaching, pollution and climate change.
"So two things can happen when a coral bleaches, it can either regain it's colour as the temperatures drop in the following winter or if the bleaching is extreme, which it was in the northern 700 kilometre stretch of the Great Barrier Reef, then significant numbers of the corals will die. So this study involved revisit
“So two things can happen when a coral bleaches, it can either regain it’s colour as the temperatures drop in the following winter or if the bleaching is extreme, which it was in the northern 700 kilometre stretch of the Great Barrier Reef, then significant numbers of the corals will die. So this study involved revisiting the same reefs where we documented the bleaching in March, nine months later. And on average, across the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef we found that one in three corals died from the 2016 bleaching event”, Director, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Terry Hughes said.
One of the main threats to the reef is the use of pesticides by farmers.
Also, the fund to be released by the Australian government will also have the ambition to help farmers to modify their farming practices at the same time supporting research in this direction.
((SOT JOSH FRYDENBERG, MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT))
“We’ll be also providing money for scientific research, particularly to build more resilient coral, to deal with heat stress and light stress and this is $100 million for these activities. We’ll be putting money towards better data management so that we understand better what’s happening at the Reef, so that we can deal with the challenges. We’ll be spending money in terms of working with local indigenous communities, the traditional owners who have such a big role to play. But these are important initiatives, we continue to invest heavily recognising that all Australians have an investment, have an interest, have a stake in the future health of the Reef and that is why the announcement today is such a game-changer. It will secure the Reef for future generations”, Australian Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg said.
The great Barrier Ree cover less than 0.2% of the ocean’s floor and is home to 30% of marine and plant species, protecting them from predators and serving as their abode.
They contribute to coastal protection, human nutrition and tourism.