New fund to protect Great Barrier Reef; BBC

Australia – Great Barrier Reef

The World Heritage site has lost 30% of its coral due to environmental degradation.

Australia has pledged A$500 million (£275m; $379m) to protect the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

In recent years, the reef has lost 30% of its coral due to bleaching linked to rising sea temperatures and damage from crown-of-thorns starfish.

The funding will be used to reduce the runoff of agricultural pesticides and improve water quality.

Some of the money will be used to help farmers near the reef modify their practices.

Threats to the reef include “large amounts of sediment, nitrogen and pesticide run-off” as well as the crown-of-thorns starfish species, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said.

The reef can be seen from space and was listed as a world heritage site in 1981 by the United Nations cultural body Unesco.

There are 1,052 sites of environmental and cultural importance such as the reef on Unesco’s World Heritage List.

In 2017, the organisation decided not to place the Great Barrier Reef on its official list of 55 World Heritage sites “in danger”.

Read more from source: New fund to protect Great Barrier Reef

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