Australia has promised an investment of $500 million AUD (approximately $379 million USD) to rescue the already fragile Great Barrier Reef in the greatest investment the Australian government has ever undertaken in coral reef preservation.
The scheme involves financing to increase the water purity by decreasing contamination from agricultural practices and promoting the rehabilitation of reefs by testing lab-grown corals which are more long-lasting at elevated temperatures, as reported by the New York Times. The initiative also involves spending $58 million AUD (approximately $43.8 million USD) to halt the proliferation of the crown-of-thorns starfish, a toxic predator that eats corals.
“We will improve the monitoring of the health of the reef and the measurement of its impacts. The more we know about the reef, the better we can protect it,” explained yesterday Josh Frydenberg, the Ministry of Environment.
Great Barrier Reef is massively affected by global warming which caused significant coral bleaching episodes
But researchers and wildlife activists caution that the 1,400-mile-long Great Barrier Reef is currently confronting a massive collapse as the global warming raises the water temperature and the acidity of the ocean, resulting in widespread coral bleaching.
In 2016 and 2017, successive marine heatwaves destroyed about 50% of the corals in the northern area of the reef, as it has been reported by a research issued this month.
Without a vigorous corals conservation plan, coupled with a “strong policy to reduce our carbon pollution, halt the Adani coal mine and move quickly to renewable energy in Australia, we will not see a future for the reef,” reported Imogen Zethoven, a researcher at the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
In conclusion, Australian government planned on investing $500 million AUD (about $379 million USD) to save the already damaged Great Barrier Reef. The investment also involves the implementation of some lab-grown corals which are more resistant to global warming, in comparison with naturally-grown corals.