Marine biologists and the Australian government will join their efforts to make sure that the Great Barrier Reef won’t be listed as endangered on the United Nation’s list.
Although Australia will spend one billion dollars by 2021 to develop projects aimed to help the recovery of the reef, activists stress that this money is far from enough to save the largest marine ecosystem on the planet.
Instead, the government is requested to actively participate in the efforts to improve the water quality. Also, this is in the official’s best interest because if the Great Barrier Reef is listed as endangered, it will mean the government failed to protect the environment.
Worse, the tourism industry will be affected as well due to the loss of the corals. Most of the funds will be used to improve the ecosystem health and water quality. Therefore, the country will develop programs which will reduce the water and air pollution caused by plants and farming.
Environmental conservationists say that one billion dollars is not enough to save the reef, meaning that more investment is needed. According to Shani Tager from Greenpeace Australia, the Australian government hasn’t promised to improve the reef, although it will fund recovery programs.
Experts have recorded this year the worst die-off in history as over 60 percent of a 435-mile-northern stretch of the reef has been devastated by coral bleaching over the past nine months. The area affected by this unusual phenomenon used to provide $3.9 billion every year to Australia’s economy.
Climate scientists underline that more carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere over the past few years trapping heat in the air. Therefore, the water temperatures increased and damaged the Great Barrier Reef.
It is worth mentioning that Australia is a top carbon emitter because it relies on coal-fired plants to provide electricity. Marine biologists say that even if the northern part of the reef has been affected by coral bleaching, the southern region is doing well thanks to a cyclone which cooled the waters.
Experts claim that one of the viable alternatives to save the reef would be a coral breeding program. This way, millions of healthy baby corals will be introduced in the areas most affected by bleaching to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Image Source:Static Flickr