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Why Australia does not protect its barrier rocks

Why Australia does not protect its barrier rocks

Sirasai Arunrukstich via Getty Images

A new episode of Bleaching Great Barrier Reef is currently underway.

Ecology – The Great Barrier Reef will disappear in the next few years. In fact, this exceptional marine site faces its effects for many years due to its size and its biodiversity. Global warming. Due to the warming of the oceans or its acidity, corals are dying. Then an event appears, the whiteness of the corals, a sign that they have disappeared.

Although a new chapter has been observed and confirmed in recent days, the inaction of the government is questionable. Faced with this dangerous observation, TheGovernment of Australia Is actually particularly stingy in operations. Many question the merits of this initiative, which would have been described as a green wash by a section of the population if the budget and action plan had been set at a cost of one billion Australian dollars.

The fourth chapter of Bleaching

“Aerial surveillance aircraft have detected the discoloration of the coral, confirming a comprehensive bleaching event, the fourth since 2016,” said the Marine Park Authority of the Caribbean. Great Barrier ReefResponsible for managing the world’s largest coral reef system.

This phenomenon is caused by global warming. This leads to the acidification and oxidation of the oceans, which kill the corals, which are particularly sensitive to these variations. Therefore, even a 1.5 degree temperature increase would cause the Great Barrier Reef disaster.

These animals (yes they are not plants) are organisms associated with microscopic algae. Therefore, through this bleaching event, they expel the algae that live in their tissues and give them their color. So the corals are seen naked with white skeleton. Without exposure, they are more exposed to predators.

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Coral whiteness illustrated by AFP.

This phenomenon is not new. Bleaching episodes in 2016, 2017 and 2020 have already had an impact on the Great Barrier Reef. The scientists who confronted this were legitimate. A study published in Current Biology The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has been whitewashed 98% since 1998. Documentary The coral chases He drew the same observation by making a deadline for live filming the whitening of corals.

A stupid game

If the report were not appealed, the Australian government’s response would not be so clear. Canberra did not take the scale of the event. In fact, when UNESCO launched measures in 2015 to classify the Great Barrier Reef status as “endangered” Australia opposed it, fearing it would affect tourism.

In fact, the tourism aspect of the more than 2300 km long coral reef is not to be overlooked: it represents $ 4.8 billion a year for the tourism sector. In exchange for Canberra abandoning UNESCO operations, it has pledged a multi-billion dollar plan to protect its reefs, dubbed the “Reef 2050”. The UN responded positively and it went up Appreciate the Australian action.

In practice, most of the Reef 2050 project and subsequent projects are dedicated to preventing rock pollution from agricultural waste. The remaining funds are earmarked for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which aims to “reduce the threats of cobblestone starfish.”

However, this policy of the Australian Government has been widely criticized, especially by the Australian Academy of Sciences 11 page report (This is not available today). One of the authors, marine biologist Terry Hughes, told ABC Television about the “Reef 2050” project. Editor’s note) The Great Barrier Reef was not strong enough to change the downward path.

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In particular, the researcher explains that it “only deals with flow, so it ignores climate change and says nothing about fishing and the enforcement of high-prey no-tag zones”.

Significantly, the situation worsened, meanwhile three episodes of bleaching took place. A new wave of destruction is currently destroying the Great Barrier Reef. Faced with this bitter observation, the government of Scott Morrison announced on January 28 a massive $ 1 billion (80 680 million) plan to increase funding for the above measures. So the issue of global warming awaits.

However, things have evolved at some point because UNESCO has this time maintained its field research to determine whether the Great Barrier Reef deserves the status of “endangered”.

Activities beyond the topic

The new investment plan is being criticized by a number of organizations, including the Australian Communications NGO Climate Council. Global warming. Australia really does not want to deal with the center of the problem. It proposes local conservation measures for rocks and also follows the policy of producing fossil fuels that are the main cause of global warming.

In fact, the conservative Australian government has so far refused to set a short-term emission reduction target. Its Prime Minister Scott Morrison and its Environment Minister Susan Lay have pledged to maintain and upgrade fossil fuel projects (e.g. coal mines), maintaining Australia’s position as a major global exporter of gas and coal.

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Thus, as Leslie Hughes, a member of the Climate Council and professor of biology at the University of Macquarie, explains to the AFP: Is.

The same story, according to Terry Hughes, did not miss an opportunity on Twitter to highlight the folly of Australian environmental policy.

More importantly, the government’s latest billion-dollar plan to protect the rocks comes ahead of the upcoming general election in May, in which Scott Morrison must win key Queensland seats (located near the rocks) to stay in power.

State that produces fossil fuels

Violation of Australia’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Protection Act (EPBC). Environment Minister Susan Lay and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have always endorsed fossil fuel development projects. As a recent example, the government approved last September (the weather a month before COP 26 in Glasgow) for the expansion of the Wicker Coal Mine in Whitehaven.

Tracy Nairmi via Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Environment Minister Susan Leigh.

In the face of the government’s climate inaction, more and more Australians are worried. Some go so far as to take the government to court. This is the case of eight young women who decided to sue last September to show that the state has a duty to care about protecting people (especially future generations) from the climate crisis.

Their appeal, however, was a dead letter, and on March 15, a federal court ruled that the government had no such obligation to protect young and future generations.

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