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Expert panel calls for urgent rethink on Great Barrier Reef management amid ‘unremitting’ climate crisis

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece in The Guardian or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: A team led by ex-chief scientist Ian Chubb, comprised of experts on the Great Barrier Reef, have sounded the alarm for an urgent review of the governance of the largest coral reef system globally 
• They've cautioned Tanya Plibersek, the Environment Minister, about the inefficacy of age-old methods in fighting the fast-paced global warming repercussions

🔭 The context: Chubb's letter emphasizes the urgency of the situation, highlighting that the reef is transitioning due to greenhouse gases at a scale unseen in the last 800,000 years
• Concurrently, a report from the Australian Academy of Sciences suggested that the ongoing climate crisis could inflict "irreversible" damage to the reef by mid-century

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: The health and survival of the Great Barrier Reef are crucial for biodiversity, supporting a vast array of marine life. It also holds significant cultural and scientific value

⏭️ What's next: The expert panel's recommendations include adopting more regionalized responses and deciding which reefs, species, and ecosystems should be prioritized
• It also advises integrating the knowledge of Indigenous communities who have a long-standing understanding of the reef
• Plibersek pledged to uphold the expert recommendations, reiterating the government's dedication to achieving climate goals set for a 1.5°C temperature rise limit and continuously funding reef conservation initiatives

💬 One quote: "The panel has taken the view, however, that the current policy framework, and funding to support new knowledge and ultimately its translation, is not flexible enough to cope with the rapidity of global warming, which shows no signs of slowing let alone stopping." (Ian Chubb, Former Chief Scientist)

📈 One stat: The reef has experienced six mass bleaching events since 1998, with four occurring in the past seven years, reflecting the escalating impacts of climate change on this critical ecosystem

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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