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Australia commits $704 million to preserve Great Barrier Reef

After delaying a UNESCO decision to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage classification, the Australian government announced on Friday that it will spend extra 1 billion Australian dollars ($704 million) over the next nine years to improve the reef’s health.

Critics argue that the investment is a ploy to boost the ruling conservative coalition’s environmental credentials ahead of upcoming elections while doing nothing to address the coral’s most serious threat: rising ocean temperatures.

A total of AU$580 million will be used to collaborate with land managers along Australia’s northeast coast to minimise nutrient and pesticide runoff, enhance land conditions, and remediate erosion.

Another AU$253 million will go to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which oversees the world’s largest coral reef environment, to help combat threats including the crown-of-thorns starfish and illicit fishing.

In addition, AU$93 million will be spent on research to strengthen the reef’s resilience and improve adaption measures.


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