More than 150 Australian scientists have urgently joined forces to warn of the threat of rapid industrialisation along the Great Barrier Reef coast ahead of a major World Heritage meeting in Cambodia from June 17.
The joint statement, representing many of Australia’s most distinguished names in marine and coastal sciences, says industrialisation of the Great Barrier Reef coastline will further harm a Reef already in crisis if better protection measures aren’t adopted.
The scientists call on the Queensland and Australian Governments to immediately halt port construction outside existing industrial port areas, force big business to minimise their impact by sharing port facilities, and improve shipping management through the Reef.
The statement of concern has been endorsed by scientists from 33 Australian institutions including the University of Queensland, James Cook University and the University of Western Australia.
The statement is being released at a critical point for the Great Barrier Reef’s future. In less than two weeks, the members of the World Heritage Committee will meet in Cambodia where the future of our Reef will be high on the agenda. This statement sends a strong message to the World Heritage Committee that for the Reef’s future it’s time to take leadership to better protect this global treasure.
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