Australia announces major funding for Great Barrier Reef

Australia announces major funding for Great Barrier Reef

Australia announces major funding for Great Barrier Reef

"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.

"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".

"This is the single largest investment in reef restoration and management in Australia's history, " Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said.

"We'll be improving the monitoring of the reef's health and the measurement of its impacts", he said from Cairns in Far North Queensland.

The Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage, is said to have lost about half of its coral cover over the past 30 years.

"Our elected representatives can't have it both ways", she said.

Canberra insists it is taking strong action to address the global threat of climate change, having set an ambitious target to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

"Today's investment brings real hope to the Great Barrier Reef", Dr Schubert said.

The fight for the reef has helped to open up a debate in Australia over the future of coal, the nation's second-largest export earner which has been blamed by scientists for causing greenhouse gases that have contributed to man-made climate change. Crown-of-thorns starfish were responsible for nearly half of this decline.

The bulk of the new funding - just over $151 million - was earmarked to improve water quality by changing farming practices and adopting new technologies and land management.

The Authority's future funding has also been secured with an additional $10 million in annual funding from 2022-23.

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.

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