The government of Australia has declared a 48 million dollar plan to help improve the condition of the Great Barrier Reef.
The biggest coral reef of the world suffered not just mass coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017 due to global warming but also was damaged by cyclones and crown-of-thorns star fishes. Studies suggest crown-of-thorns starfish feed on fastest growing coral and is responsible for almost half of the Great Barrier Reef’s decline. The money will be spent in preventing coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish population and soil erosion.”There was a strong link between the coral-eating species and run-off from water pollution.
The reef is facing increasing threats, we intend to remain leaders in reef management,” said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after announcing the project.Around twenty nine million dollars will be invested on farmers to restore vegetation around the reef to stop soil erosion, eight million dollars to manage crown-of-thorns starfish population. An additional five million on scientific research to develop some ways to make coral more sturdy, and two and a half million dollars more to appoint more field officers to look after and issue warning about reef bleaching.The project came as a part of a commitment by federal and state governments to ensure development and improvement of the coral reef through the next decade. Even though it is done to save the Australian ecosystem and those whose livelihood depends on the reef; it has been criticised by some environmental groups for not focusing more on climate change.According to Greenpeace, “This is the kind of tinkering around the edges approach that has failed in the past and does nothing to address the cause of devastating coral bleaching.” But Australian Prime Minister dismissed it by terming the project as a “positive challenge” to save the largest living structure on Earth