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May 30, 2016

Australian Opposition Leader pledges to save The Great Barrier Reef

Australian Opposition Leader pledges to save The Great Barrier Reef

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten, speaking in Cairns today has pledged a $500 million fund towards research and environmental programs to help protect Australia’s environmental icon.

File photo of The Great Barrier Reef QLD, Australia
Image: Jorge Láscar.

Mr Shorten said that the reef was in peril after recent underwater surveys revealed that more than one-third of coral reefs in central and northern regions of The Great Barrier Reef have died as a result of coral bleaching.

“All of this is at risk if serious action is not taken to protect it. The Great Barrier Reef is an environmental treasure Australia holds on trust for the world,” said Mr Shorten.

The surveys were carried out by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, who revealed the bleaching was associated with higher than average water temperatures as a result of El Nino events and is under pressure from climate change.

Initial reports conducted by the ARC claimed that only 7 percent of coral reefs had been left untouched by bleaching. This bleaching event is the third of its kind with notable occurrences in 1998 and 2002. This event it particular has had the biggest impact on the reef so far.

Two weeks ago, James Cook scientists warned that Australia’s environmental icon would be incurable within the next 5 years unless the government commits to spending $10 billion over the next decade.

Mr Shorten is expected to deliver a detailed description of the planning and allocation of funds dedicated towards protecting the reef on Monday.



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Australian Opposition Leader pledges to save Great Barrier Reef

Australian Opposition Leader pledges to save Great Barrier Reef

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Monday, May 30, 2016

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Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten, speaking in Cairns yesterday has pledged an A$500 million fund towards research and programs to help protect Australia’s environmental icon The Great Barrier Reef.

File photo of The Great Barrier Reef.
Image: Jorge Láscar.

Recent surveys indicated coral bleaching has killed more than a third of coral in the Great Barrier Reef’s north and central regions. “All of this is at risk if serious action is not taken to protect it. The Great Barrier Reef is an environmental treasure Australia holds on trust for the world,” said Mr. Shorten.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies performed the surveys. Bleaching is associated with higher-than-average water temperatures resulting from El Niño events, affected by climate change.

ARC said bleaching had affected all but seven percent of the reef. This bleaching event is the third of its kind with notable occurrences in 1998 and 2002. This event in particular has had the biggest impact on the reef so far.

Two weeks ago, James Cook University scientists said the government would have to commit A$10 billion over the next decade or the reef would be incurable in half that time.

$500 million has been promised towards the investment in research and protection of the reef by Mr Shorten over four years.



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Australia left out of the UNESCO report on climate change threat to world heritage sites.

Filed under: Australia,Disputed,Environment,Great Barrier Reef — admin @ 5:00 am

Australia left out of the UNESCO report on climate change threat to world heritage sites.

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Last week UNESCO (United Nations Educational and Science Cultural Organization) released a report, looking at the affect global warming is having on 31 different sites in 29 countries. Any mention of Australia, The Great Barrier Reef in particular, was cut from the report. The initial report contained extensive research outlining the affect climate change is having on The Great Barrier Reef, and the threat that Coral Bleaching is imposing on its very existence. Before the report was published, the Environment Department urged the Australian ambassador to UNESCO to have any mention of Australian sites removed. The Environment Department believed that mentioning the impact climate change is having on Australian ecosystems could jeopardize the tourism industry that is based around areas such as the Barrier Reef. The department issued a statement outlining why Australia was cut from the report “The department expressed concern that giving the report the title ‘Destinations at risk’ had the potential to cause considerable confusion.” The department went on to outline that by labelling the reef as a ‘Destination at Risk’ could muddle the issues of world heritage sites and risks arising from climate change and tourism. The decision to remove Australia from this report has raised concerns from members of the public, as well as politicians and environmental experts. Larissa Waters, the Greens Senator from Queensland, said that it was “unbelievable that the response of global warnings about the future of the reef is simply to hide the evidence”. This report comes at a crucial time in the security of the Barrier Reef, studies show that approximately one-third of the northern area of the reef has already died due to enormous amounts of coral bleaching that has occurred over recent years. Experts are blaming this extensive coral bleaching on the extreme El-Nino weather conditions of the past 12 months. Abnormally warm water temperatures cause the coral to release photosynthetic algae. The coral cannot survive without the algae, causing the reef to be destroyed.

Professor Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, outlined the seriousness of this situation “”The key threat to the Great Barrier Reef is climate change – the government has recognised that many times.” Professor Hughes went on to urge the Queensland Government to start taking climate change seriously and to reconsider the impact coal mines are having on Australia’s environment.



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