Australia pledges millions to save the Great Barrier Reef

Australia pledges millions to save the Great Barrier Reef

"It is no secret that the Great Barrier Reef is under pressure".

The World Heritage-listed site, which attracts millions of tourists, is reeling from significant bouts of coral bleaching due to warming sea temperatures linked to climate change.

Australia says its $379 million investment is the largest ever single investment to protect the reef.

"We have seen right across the world a number of reefs being hit by this heat stress and this is combined here in Australia with also Cyclone Debbie as well as the Crown-of-thorns starfish", he said.

A 2017 survey found coral mortality varied from the northern to the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.

Crown-of-thorn starfish have been discovered eating their way through coral on the southern end of the reef.

Turnbull angered conservationists in October by ditching plans to set renewable power targets, even as Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises Ltd. plans to build one of the world's biggest mines of the fossil fuel in Queensland state - which also hosts the Great Barrier Reef.

The bulk of the new funding - just over $151 million - was earmarked to improve water quality by changing farming practices and adopting new technologies and land management. "These funds represent an unequalled opportunity to create a legacy of hope for future generations".

Several Australian government officials said in a joint statement that the money will help improve water quality, restore the reef and tackle the coral-eating starfish problem.

The government, in a partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, will contribute $444 million.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority the Department of the Environment and Energy will also be boosted with $56 million to expand environmental management and compliance operations on the reef.

UNESCO considered putting it on the "in danger" list past year due to recent widespread destruction but voted against it, allowing Australia's conservative government to dodge political embarrassment and potential damage to the country's tourism industry.

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