Canberra, December 21
The Australian government has announced a plan to save islands in the Great Barrier Reef, located off the coast of Queensland state, from the effects of climate change.
According to the report from News Corp Australia on Sunday, the government will spend A$5.5 million ($4.2 million) building “ecological arks” across the iconic coral reef, reports Xinhua news agency.
Sussan Ley, the Minister for the Environment, said that the survival of the reef was at a critical juncture.
“Biodiversity matters because the living world can do without us but we can’t do without the living world,” she said.
A report published earlier this month by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said that a third (33 per cent) of natural World Heritage sites are threatened by climate change, including the world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef, assessed as having a “critical” outlook for the first time.
However, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chief executive Josh Thomas said there was “a window” to save it.
“The Great Barrier Reef is dependent on actions being taken, strong management action, strong community action,” he said.
The Great Barrier Reef comprises more than 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 km over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres.
The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. — IANS