Canberra, April 29 (IANS) Australia will invest AU$500 million ($379 million) to protect the Great Barrier Reef, a minister said on Sunday.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority will receive an additional AU$10 million each year from 2022-23 to “continue and expand essential work” in the Unesco World Heritage area, Efe news quoted Josh Frydenberg, the Minister for Environment and Energy, as saying.
“The Turnbull Government will invest more than $500 million – the largest ever single investment – to protect the reef, secure its viability and the 64,000 jobs that rely on the Reef,” Frydenberg said.
“We are looking at a whole range of new initiatives, taking best advice of the experts, working closely with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to ensure that the reef has its best chance into the future.”
The Great Barrier Reef is home to some 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 varieties of molluscs, and contributes some AU$6.4 billion annually to the country’s economy.
The Great Barrier Reef began to deteriorate during the 1990s as a result of the double impact of warming seawater and increased acidity due to higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.