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Great Barrier Reef not on the verge of extinction

Australian authorities also insisted UNESCO to put efforts in protecting the natural wonder and creating stiff measures so the Great Barrier does not get harmed.


Great Barrier Reef not on the verge of extinction
The Great Barrier Reef is not on the verge of extinction and is not dying, insisted Australia

New Delhi: The Great Barrier Reef is not on the verge of extinction and is not dying, insisted Australia.

Australian authorities also insisted UNESCO to put efforts in protecting the natural wonder and creating stiff measures so the Great Barrier does not get harmed.

Canberra last year narrowly avoided the UN body putting the site on its endangered list and was ordered to report to the World Heritage committee by December 1 on its "Reef 2050" rescue plan.

The giant ecosystem -- a major tourist attraction -- is under pressure from farming run-off, development, the crown-of-thorns starfish and climate change, which led to its worst-ever bleaching event this year that devastated swathes of coral.

In the report, the government said 32 of the plan's 151 actions to improve the reef had been achieved. Another 103 were under way, four were delayed, and 12 were not yet due.

"When we came to government we inherited a reef on UNESCO's endangered watch list," Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg told Sky News.

"We've done everything possible since that time to put in place a plan, to invest huge amounts of resources to improve water quality, to work with the farming community to tackle the crown-of-thorns starfish and to preserve this natural wonder of the world.

"We have to put the facts on the table," he added. "The reef is not dead, it's not dying, it's resilient, it's healthy and we've made great strides forward in the last few years."

The government has committed more than Aus$2.0 billion (US$1.5 billion) to protect the reef over the next decade with the update highlighting progress on land management practices to prevent sediment run off, which helps spawn the coral-eating starfish.

(With AFP inputs)

From Zee News

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