Academy welcomes focus on Great Barrier Reef climate impacts

February 19, 2019
The Academy has consistently called for a more strategic focus on improving the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef to climate change. Image source 

The Australian Academy of Science has welcomed the findings of the Senate Committee Inquiry into the Great Barrier Reef 2050 Partnership program; particularly its recommendation that government address the impact of climate change on the reef and on Australia more broadly.

Academy President Professor John Shine AC said that it was pleasing to see a clear focus in the report on effectively tackling climate change and linking public investments in the reef to the Australian and Queensland governments’ Reef 2050 Plan.

“The key priorities for protecting and preserving the reef are to improve our understanding of the stressors and the best interventions through rigorous, peer-reviewed research, to improve water quality and to address climate change.

Professor Shine noted that Australia has a number of major institutions with established expertise in reef research and management, including CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Marine Studies, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and a number of universities.

“The Academy has consistently called for a more strategic focus on improving the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef to climate change. The bottom line is that to preserve the reef for future generations, Australia will need to make significant additional investments over the coming years, whether through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation or through our other agencies.

“Without such efforts, the Reef 2050 Plan will fail to meet its objectives, and we’ll lose all or part of one of our major natural treasures,” Professor Shine said.

© 2019 Australian Academy of Science

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