Scientists are looking at the upcoming 2016 Australian election as the last chance to save the Great Barrier Reef.
A new scientific paper recently released says that the Australian government can only guarantee the survival of the reef through the disposal of $10 billion in funding, released incrementally over 10 years. The lead author of the paper, Jon Brodie, told The Guardian that, “This is the last chance. The current spending is totally inadequate…You either do it properly or you give up on the reef. It’s that bad.”
This opinion is not a new one and scientists have been monitoring the reef’s status since climate change has become a central talking point. Warm waters this past year caused about 93 percent of coral reefs to bleach this year, and of those bleaching events, none were recorded before 1998. The goal of the funding would be to keep the water quality at an agreeable quality, which would help keep the reef in the best shape possible to combat climate change.
The paper pointed to needing $10 billion by 2025, equating to $1 billion released by the government to the correct environmental research agencies released for 10 years. However, the reef itself generates around $20 billion per year to the Australian economy, so this request, though large, is “just 5 percent of its economic value for a limited time.”