Outlook for Great Barrier Reef downgraded to “very poor” due to climate change
One of the seven wonders of the world is under serious threat.
The outlook for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Site and one of the seven wonders of the world, has been downgraded from “poor” to “very poor” in a report by the Australian government.
Every five years, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority publishes an outlook report examining its health, pressures and likely future and the most recent update makes for very worrying reading.
Climate change, the extensive report reads, remains the greatest threat to the Reef, along with coastal development, land-based run off and some forms of fishing, particularly illegal fishing.
Climate-related extreme weather events, such as marine heatwaves, cyclones and floods have had a significant impact on the Reef, emphasising what Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chief Scientist David Wachenfield describes as the “absolute critical need for the strongest possible mitigation of climate change and reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions”.
Clip via Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
While the report does detail positive outcomes brought about by management initiatives and actions at local level for activities such as tourism, the report outlines that “significant global action” is “critical to slowing the deterioration of the Reef’s ecosystem and heritage values and supporting recovery”.
The Australian government has outlined plans to act against the decline of the Great Barrier Reef through the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan and the Great Barrier Reef Blueprint for Resilience, which includes commitments such as building resilience to a changing climate, improving water quality and carefully managing coastal land use.
“The window of opportunity to influence the Reef’s long-term future is now,” said Dr Ian Poiner, Chairperson of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
You can read the report in full here.