The threat of climate change including the rise of temperatures and the threat of increasing natural disasters has kept the reef’s biodiversity and beauty in danger for a number of years.
Earlier this year, UNESCO decided against changing the reef’s status to ‘in danger’.
There have been a number of reactions to this decision. Some have welcomed the decision, saying it allows Australia to get on with the business of repairing the reef.
Others have spoken against UNESCO’s refusal to downgrade the reef’s status.
The reef has suffered many coral bleaching episodes over the years, with three notable occurrences since 2016. Between cyclones damaging much of the North-Eastern coast of Australia throughout the 2000s and the rising temperature of sea levels causing damage to the reef’s ecosystem, there is great concern about the ability of the reef to survive.
However, not all hope is lost for the Great Barrier Reef. The Coral Sea Foundation has recently found the reef, especially around Lizard Island, to be restoring itself to its former glory with gusto.
This comparison photo over a three year timespan shows the incredible recovery of the reef.
The coral that grows the fastest, however, is also the coral which is the most easily damaged. This calls for accelerated efforts to protect such coral against the effects of climate change.
Protecting the reef from further damage will just take hard work from governments and businesses across the world as well as citizens to mitigate the effects of climate change.
One of the greatest dangers currently facing the reef, aside from inaction on climate change, is misreporting and misinformation.
Many find they are disengaging from conversations about the reef due to conflicting information. One news report will say the reef is doomed, and there is no way to recover. The next report will tell the reader that these alarmist reports are over-the-top and ridiculous.