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The status of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia dropped to “critical” and is deteriorating

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Australian Health Status Great Obstacle Reef has officially fallen from “significant concern” to “critical” for the first time, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced this week. said climate change is now the biggest threat to nature World Heritage Sites, including the largest and most spectacular coral reef in the world.

According to the new report, a third of the 252 natural World Heritage sites are now threatened by climate change. Before, invasive species were listed as the main threat.

Shrinking glaciers, coral bleaching and increasingly frequent and strong fires and droughts are just some of the devastation the effects of climate change in these ecosystems. Many of these effects can have irreversible consequences on ecosystems, including species decline and disappearance.

The Great Barrier Reef must fight ocean warming, acidification, and extreme weather to stay alive between record heat waves. there are lost half of her coral to climate change since 1995, with their status now listed as “critical” – the most urgently assigned status in the UNESCO advisory board classification system.

The sites listed as critical are “severely treated and require urgent, additional and large-scale conservation measures,” the report said.

three massive coral bleaching events in the last five years alone they have only exacerbated gum health problems and destroyed populations of marine species that rely on it. Heating waters threaten another massive bleaching event in 2021, with time between bleaching events expected to shrink further.

While some issues, such as overfishing and habitat destruction, can be managed, the biggest threat – climate change – can not be addressed at the site level. Moreover, the report warns that plans to protect gum for a long time have been slow in implementation, failing to stop or reverse gum deterioration.

“Right now the federal government is relinquishing their responsibility to act as custodian of the Great Barrier Reef and it ‘s just awful,” Australian Marine Conservation Association Great Barrier Reef campaigner David Cazzulino told Reuters. “We need a national climate change policy that holds the future of our tire strong at heart. That means limiting heat to 1.5 degrees, reaching zero-zero emissions as soon as possible. “Ahead of 2050 and 100% renewable energy, which we know is possible, will create a better society for all of us and create thousands of clean jobs in the process.”

In addition to the Great Barrier Reefs, four other Australian world heritage sites – the Blue Mountains, Gondwana Rainforest, Ningaloo Coast and Shark Bay – have also deteriorated and received low status. Overall, more sites have deteriorated than improved since 2017.

The IUCN found that only half of the World Heritage sites have effective or highly effective protection and management. Overall, he found that the outlook for these sites is not improving, despite individual examples of success in some cases.

“The World Natural Heritage Sites are among the most valuable sites in the world and we owe it to future generations to protect them,” said Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director-General. “As the international community sets new goals to conserve biodiversity, this report signals the urgency with which we must address environmental challenges together on a planetary scale.”

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