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The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. There are a whopping 45 reasons why

Jon Day and Scott Heron write in The Conversation (12.9.19) about the threat that climate change poses to the Great Barrier Reef. The authors note that scores of other less-publicised threats also imperil the future of the natural wonder.

'When the managers of the Great Barrier Reef recently rated its outlook as very poor, a few well known threats dominated the headlines. But delve deeper into report and you’ll find that this global icon is threatened by a whopping 45 risks.

'The most publicised main threats relate to climate change and poor water quality, and are unquestionably the most damaging.

'However, many of the 45 threats are not well known or understood. All but two are happening now - and most are steadily getting worse. Collectively, it means the Great Barrier Reef is heading for a “death by a thousand cuts”.

'... Much more effort is required to effectively address complex threats such as climate change. But to ensure that the Great Barrier Reef survives as a healthy, resilient ecosystem, we must also ensure the lesser known risks are addressed.

'This requires greater efforts by the community, industries, traditional owners and non-government organisations together with strong leadership from governments and their agencies. Unless this happens, the prognosis for the Great Barrier Reef is worse than “very poor” - and the ecological, social, economic and cultural impacts of that will be devastating.'


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