Australian Government Rejects Proposed Great Barrier Reef Protections from UN

Australian Government Rejects Proposed Great Barrier Reef Protections from UN

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer In a report released last Monday, the U.N. recommended placing the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) on a list of world heritage sites now “in danger.” The report stated that “there is no possible doubt that the property is facing ascertained danger.” But the Australian government and tourism industry defended the country’s reef […]

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New Report Provides Roadmap for Fully Protected Oceans 

New Report Provides Roadmap for Fully Protected Oceans 

Each year, the ocean removes almost a third of all global CO2 emissions. But as the ocean warms, it’s becoming less effective as a carbon sink and could release billions of tons of carbon back into the atmosphere.  A new report from Environment America Research & Policy Center provides some guidance on effective ocean protections and highlights six successfully protected ocean sites to serve as role models.

Why This Matters:  Recently, with the support of 450 elected officials, President Biden signed an executive order to protect 30% of all U.S. land and waters by 2030.

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37% of UNESCO Heritage Sites Damaged by Climate Change

37% of UNESCO Heritage Sites Damaged by Climate Change

Many of the world’s most well-known treasures are UNESCO heritage sites, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Taj Mahal. Yet dozens of these sites are under threat from climate change. Flooding, droughts, fires, and the bleaching of coral reefs have marred 83 of the 252 World Heritage Sites.

Why this Matters: UNESCO World Heritage sites are incredibly important ecosystems and cultural symbols, and it would be a tragedy to lose them.

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Great Barrier Reef Designated “Critical” by New IUCN Report

Great Barrier Reef Designated “Critical” by New IUCN Report

by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has been upgraded from “significant concern” to “critical” based on a new report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that found increasing impacts associated with climate change. Just over one month ago, a study found that half of the coral in […]

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One Pink Thing:  Rare Pink Manta Ray Photographed Near Great Barrier Reef

One Pink Thing: Rare Pink Manta Ray Photographed Near Great Barrier Reef

Photographer Kristian Laine was free diving near Lady Elliot Island when he spotted and snapped pics of what may be the world’s only pink manta ray — named Inspector Clouseau, after the beloved detective in “The Pink Panther” movies. Laine initially thought that his camera was broken, National Geographic reported, and was shocked to learn […]

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Australia’s Climate Change Election That Wasn’t

Australia’s Climate Change Election That Wasn’t

Australia re-elected center-right Prime Minister Scott Morrison over the weekend, pulling off a “miracle” thanks to a big turnout from his base of older, suburban economic conservatives and of supporters in Queensland, which is the coal-producing, sparsely populated region of the country.  This happened despite the fact that Australia just experienced its hottest summer on record, with major fish die-offs as the country’s rivers run dry, and the Great Barrier Reef, one of the country’s most iconic and popular destinations, is experiencing a record coral bleaching event from which many believe it will never recover.

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