NewsAustralia wants to save Great Barrier Reef - with...

Australia wants to save Great Barrier Reef – with a billion dollars

Australia wants to invest a lot of money to protect the Great Barrier Reef against climate change. The measures do not go far enough for environmentalists.

Sydney – Australia has presented a package worth hundreds of millions of euros to protect the Great Barrier Reef threatened by climate change. The government will invest a total of one billion Australian dollars over nine years to preserve the special ecosystem off the north-east coast. The amount corresponds to around 630 million euros, announced Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Most of the money will be used to prevent pollution of the reef from agricultural runoff. A quarter of the equivalent of 630 million euros is to be used to combat the crown-of-thorns starfish that eat reefs.

Das Great Barrier Reef nahe Australien.

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The Great Barrier Reef near Australia is a unique ecosystem, but it is threatened by the climate crisis.

Great Barrier Reef: Australia invests another billion

“We are committed to the health of the reef and the economic future of Queensland’s tourism, hospitality and communities that are at the heart of the reef economy,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison of the plans to protect the Great Barrier Reef near Australia.

Australia has already poured billions of dollars into protecting the reef since 2015, which has historically attracted millions of travelers. At the time, Unesco threatened to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef from the list of World Heritage Sites. While the measures are believed to have halted the pace of coral reef decline, much of the world’s largest reef system has already been degraded.

Heat waves in recent years have led to mass coral bleaching events, which can lead to reef death. The rising sea temperatures that caused this are attributed to man-made climate change.

Great Barrier Reef Coral reef in Australia
surface 348,700 km²
Inclusion in the Unesco World Heritage List 1981
Type nature
Unesco region Asia and Pacific
Contracting State(s) Australia

Australia’s plans to protect the Great Barrier Reef: ‘Band-aids on a broken leg’

Scott Morrison’s party, the Liberal Party of Australia, must win key seats in the state in the general election expected in May 2022 in order to remain in government. However, Morrison’s government has been heavily criticized by environmentalists for its support for key exports of coal and gas and a non-existent climate policy.

The Australian government’s plans to preserve the Great Barrier Reef have also drawn criticism from climate protectors. The Australian Climate Council compared the Prime Minister’s recent announcements to a “band-aid on a broken leg”. Lesley Hughes, professor of biology at Macquarie University, said: “Having one hand to give money to the Great Barrier Reef while using the other hand to fund the very industry – fossil fuels – that drives devastating climate impacts like marine heatwaves and coral bleaching causing means you are exacerbating the very problem you claim you are trying to solve.”

Although the reef system is threatened by climate change, Australia prevented the Great Barrier Reef from being listed as a “World Heritage Site in Danger”. Unesco’s decision also caused horror among climate protectors. (ms with AFP)

List of rubrics: © James Cook University/dpa

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