Australia announces record investment in Great Barrier Reef

The package will help develop coral that is more resistant to high temperatures and light stress

The package will help develop coral that is more resistant to high temperatures and light stress

"The more we understand about the reef, the better we can protect it".

The funding includes measures to improve water quality by encouraging better farming practices, scientific research towards reef restoration and building more resilient coral by tackling the coral-eating corn of thorns starfish.

The Great Barrier Reef will receive a $500 million (€312 million) funding boost to restore water quality and protect the coral from attack by starfish, government ministers in Australia have announced.

"We want to ensure the reef's future for the benefit of all Australians, particularly those whose livelihood depends on the reef", he added.

Josh Frydenberg, the Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy, says,"This is the single largest investment in Reef restoration and management in Australia's history".

The federal government of Australia is allocating half a billion dollars to save the Great Barrier Reef from climate change and other threats.

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"The funding provides us with a long-term guarantee of a strong on-water presence to manage the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area through the on-ground work by our field officers".

Bill McKibben, founder of global grassroots climate movement 350.org, said: "Science is well aware of what is killing the coral - it's the excess heat from burning fossil fuels".

The world's largest coral reef system has lost 30 percent of its coral due to bleaching, which is blamed on climate change and pollution. "To simultaneously promote the world's biggest coal mine while pretending to care about the world's largest reef is an acrobatic feat only the most cynical politicians would attempt", he said. "These funds represent an unequalled opportunity to create a legacy of hope for future generations", Schubert said in a statement.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chairman Dr Russell Reichelt welcomed the funding, saying it was a "game changer" as it significantly ramped up reef programs and protection and provided an ability to seek co-funding from private investors and philanthropists.

Earlier this month, scientists said the site suffered a "catastrophic die-off" of coral during an extended heatwave in 2016, threatening a broader range of reef life than previously feared.

Money would also be set aside for fighting the crown-of-thorns starfish, which feeds on coral and has become an ever-present pest; for enhancing reef-health monitoring; and for community engagement and enforcement.

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