At least A$785 million (US$643 million) is needed over five years to improve the water quality and fight pollution on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, according to a new report.
Climate change and water pollution are acting as a “double whammy” on the reef’s health, BBC News said, citing the Reef Regions Investment Plan. The reef is a major tourist destination and a rich marine habitat.
The report, compiled by six natural resource management groups operating in the state of Queensland, called for cooperation from farmers and rigorous coastal planning.
Rising sea temperatures and pollution from agriculture are believed to be among the biggest threats to its ecosystem.
The reef is also facing further pressure from the proposed expansion of ports to export coal.
The report highlighted the destruction of coral by outbreaks of Crown of Thorns starfish, which were caused by nitrogen run-offs from farms.
It said floodplains, their wetlands, and estuaries and their habitats were the most degraded parts of the reef’s ecosystem.
“Managing, repairing and protecting the reef is not a start-stop-restart activity,” the report said.
It called for secure investment, as well as five-yearly progress reviews and the “readjustment of priorities and investment profile in the context of review findings”.
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