Australia’s Academy of Science has hit out at the Aussie government’s draft plan to help conserve the Great Barrier Reef and halt its decline that has been caused by, among many things, climate change and increasing coastal development. 

“The science is clear, the reef is degraded and its condition is worsening,” said Professor Terry Hughes who added that the plan will not even help stop the decline that is currently underway let alone help restore the reef to its former, unmarked glory.

“It’s also mare than disappointing to see that the biggest threat to the reef – climate change – is virtually ignored in this plan,” he continued, clearly highlighting the plan’s weaknesses.

The Great Barrier Reef stretches for roughly 2500 km along the east coast of Queensland and comprises a plethora of reefs, sandbars and islands, which a wealth of fish, birds and other aquatic wildlife call home. It is roughly the size of the entire UK as well – yes, Brits, you really do live on a small, small island!

As if this staggering size and scale was not enough to make even the most hardy Brit bashful at the thought of, say, the Lake District (which is actually really pretty nice – go check out Scafell Pike and clamber to the summit!), the Reef is also the only living thing on earth that can be seen from space.

However, climate change and other factors such as man’s continued development of coastal areas and sea routes has led to its erosion and decline. Not only does this mean a decline in size though, but a decline in the abundant wildlife and ecosystems that call the reef home. So severe is this worry that Unesco is considering putting it on its List of World Heritage in Danger sites such is the devastation that has already occurred and the speed with which it is happening. Not that the government is worried by the threat posed to one of its, and mother earth’s, most treasured creations.

“We have a clear plan and a strong commitment to ensure the reef is healthy and resilient,” argued Australian Environment minister Greg Hunt. Then again, this is the same man that openly cited Wikipedia as his source of information about Australian bushfires and the effect upon them by climate change in an interview with the BBC last year.

Photo: Via Getty.