Scientists Say: The Great Barrier Reef Can’t Be Saved

We need to be aware that the planet has changed in ways that do not have a precedent in human history.


The Great Barrier Reef is no longer salvageable, at least not by our current efforts, scientists warn, adding that the future focus needs to be shifted to maintaining the reef’s ecological function.

It seems that the Australian government’s strategy called ‘’the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan’’ is completely unattainable, especially considering the recent bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 and the fact that the strategy has not included a climate change plan.

The Reef 2050 Plan was designed with the goal of improving the Reef’s value every decade up to 2050. However, on a meeting that took place last week before the advisory committee, scientists said that the plan is unrealistic after the worst coral die-off ever recorded, that happened in this and last year.

To try to counter the events and progression, scientists propose to revise the current plan and create more realistic goals of maintaining the biological function of the Reef, while still accepting that the Reef will be declining over time.

Maintaining the biological function of the Reef mainly refers to preserving the balance of biological processes so that the reef ecosystem can function as a whole, however, maybe not in the form we are used to seeing it – the spokesperson for Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority noted.

It is not surprising that all of this sounds very fatalistic, but the common agreement is that something simply has to be done. The Reef 2050 Plan needs to urgently be revised to include the climate change in its strategy. Another thing that needs to be focused on is the reduction of emission of greenhouse gases and also to bolster coral resilience and reef ecosystems.

We need to be aware that the planet has changed in ways that do not have a precedent in human history. This means that it is possible that the long-term damage we as a species have done to our planet may very well be irreversible.

According to Panel Chairman and former Chief Scientist of Australia, Ian Chubb, the Reef 2050 Plan needs to urgently address its biggest issues and that the warming of the oceans, which is the main factor in coral bleaching. We cannot be passive bystanders anymore.