$500M LIFELINE FOR GREAT BARRIER REEF
The Australian government is to allocate $500m to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef.
The funding, confirmed in the May budget, follows a recent study which found that 30 percent of the reef’s coral died in a nine-month marine heatwave in 2016.
In partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the funds will tackle crown-of-thorns starfish, reduce pollution and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
The Marine Park Authority will also receive an additional $42.7 million for its joint field management program over the next six years. After that, the Marine Park Authority will receive a guaranteed ongoing funding increase of more than $10 million per year for field management – doubling the Australian Government’s contribution to the program in the long-term.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chairman Dr Russell Reichelt welcomed the funding, saying it was a “game changer” as it significantly ramped up reef programs and protection and provided an ability to seek co-funding from private investors and philanthropists.
“This is a hugely positive outcome for the Great Barrier Reef and comes at a critical time after back-to-back mass coral bleaching triggered by the increasing pressure of global warming.”