Australian government criticised for Great Barrier Reef damage

Sydney, July 25 (IANS) The Australian government faces massive criticism both home and abroad for slackness on reef protection and the official promotion of fossil fuels usage, as the Great Barrier Reef was found severely damaged.

An independent organisation of scientists and journalists reporting the changing climate and its impact, Great Barrier Reef is undergoing a “complete ecosystem collapse”, Xinhua news agency cited a report by Climate Central as showing.

The collapse refers to the devastating bleaching of the reef and the decrease of marine animals near Queensland.

Worrying about the ecosystem of the coral reefs, experts and scientists had sent a letter to the Australian government calling for better conservation of the reefs and curbing fossil fuel consumption.

“The damage to this Australian icon has already been devastating. In addition to damage from greenhouse gasses, port dredging and shipping of fossil fuels across the Great Barrier Reef contravene Australia’s responsibilities for stewardship of the Reef under the World Heritage Convention,” the letter addressed to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

The newly approved projects of the Queensland Carmichael coalmine and the Abbot Point terminal to affiliate the export of fossil fuels are regarded as actions damaging the coral reefs further.

“Protecting the reef and approving the Carmichael mining lease are diametrically opposed,” Greenpeace spokesman Shani Tager said.

The recent appointment of Josh Frydenberg as the environment and energy minister was also questioned.

According to Queensland government, the Great Barrier Reef receives more than 1.9 million visitors each year, and contributed almost 5.2 billion Australian dollars (about $3.87 billion) to the nation’s economy.



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