Australia has pledged over 500 million Australian dollars to help preserve the Great Barrier Reef, in an effort to protect the world heritage site from the effects of climate change.
The funding, which was announced recently, constitutes part of a conservation plan that will see the Australian government partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to monitor and improve the reef’s long term health.
The money will be utilised to improve water quality, to control coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish – a major predator – and to expanding reef restoration schemes.
It will also help to preserve 64,000 jobs that depend on the reef, according to the Foundation.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with some 400 types of coral and 1,500 species of fish. It is also home to a number of endangered species, including the large green turtle and a marine mammal called the Dugong.
At the project launch, Australian environment minister Josh Frydenberg said the reef was under considerable pressure but that challenges could be overcome.
“The more we understand about the reef, the better we can protect it,” he told reporters.