Australia announces 35-year plan in effort to save Great Barrier Reef from pollution and climate change
Sunday, March 22, 2015, 12:23 PM - The Australian government has announced plans to implement a 'blueprint' outlining efforts to save the Great Barrier Reef from a downward spiral by the year 2050.
The 2300-kilometre stretch of coral reef and natural habitat has been increasingly threatened by extreme weather and pollution in recent years.
Plans to reverse its decline were unveiled this week, and have been prompted by multiple warnings from scientists, environmentalists and the United Nations.
The UN has considered listing the world's largest coral reef as 'endangered' due to poor water quality and the loss of coral.
Great Barrier Reef 😍🐠🌊 pic.twitter.com/oX3MBVviHF— ☯ (@TakeMeHere__) March 15, 2015
"We are utterly committed as an entire nation to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world," the country's prime minister Tony Abbott told The Telegraph.
The blueprint has identified climate change as the biggest long-term threat to the state of the reef, due to the effects of rising ocean temperatures and carbon emissions.
The main points of the plan include a permanent ban on dumping in designated zones around the reef, limits on port expansions, and reductions on the use of pesticides. It also states that 50 million GBP will be pledged to improve water quality.
Located off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is made up of nearly 3000 individual reefs and over 900 tiny islands.
One of the nation's most popular tourist attractions, it is also home to a vast array of species, from minuscule organisms, to fish, whales and birds.
But not everyone is on board with the government plans.
Activists have criticized the fact that not much has been done to decrease the amount of coastal development and ship traffic along the coast of Queensland, and that the funds pledged to the cause are nowhere near enough to restore the area to a healthy state.
Source: The Telegraph
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