Yes, you read it right! The Australian government has pledged 500 million dollars in a bid to rescue the imperilled great barrier reef. In an attempt to rescue the disappearing reef, the Australian Government unveiled this new plan, what would be the largest single investment for reef conservation and management in the country’s history.
Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said 500 million Australian dollars would be set aside to help the reef, an important ecosystem and a global treasure, after years of devastating damage from warming waters caused by climate change.
He also added that, the new research team would be closely monitoring the reef’s health and measuring its impacts, because in order to better protect the reef, it is absolutely necessary to better understand it. The money would be used to improve water quality, control a major predator, invest in coral restoration and enhance underwater monitoring.
But environmentalists said the previous plans by the government was nowhere near enough. The reef’s health and prospects are deteriorating at an alarming rate . Huge sections stretching hundreds of miles across have died over the last two years, killed by overheated and more acidic seawater caused by climate change. Further, few marine biologists believe that much of the damage was irreversible, and that, the only solution was a global one: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of fossil fuels, and get climate change under control.
According to various sources from the internet, this new plan would set aside roughly AU$200 million for improving water quality, working with farmers to reduce fertilizer use — especially sugar farmers, who dominate the rich coastal lands of tropical northern Australia.
Most of the money would also be set aside for fighting the crown-of-thorns starfish, which feeds on coral and has become an ever-present pest; for enhancing reef health monitoring; and for community engagement and enforcement.
But some scientists who are among the world’s greatest experts on the reef — including Terry P. Hughes, director of a government-funded centre for coral reef studies at James Cook University in Queensland — said that it was too little, too late.
I guess we are a little late after all in realising our mistakes! But, its important to understand that climate change is real, and it’s happening right now.