DEA was pleased to contribute to a book by the Australian Marine Conservation Society outlining the value of the Great Barrier Reef. It is called ‘The Reef- a love story’ and was presented to the Minister for the Environment & Energy, Josh Frydenberg and also shared widely at the World Heritage Committee meeting in Poland. Josh was reportedly deeply appreciative of the book. You can download the book from this link to a drop box folder (to view it as a book you need to open the downloaded file in Adobe Acrobat and view in a 2 page format).
Unfortunately, the same Josh recently announced a dramatic reduction in marine protections as he plans to slash the marine reserve system created by Labour in 2012. The changes will see 76% of the Coral Sea opened to fishing. You can read more about this backward step here.
We are understandably outraged by this decision which, once again, ignores the science and facilitates environmental destruction to vested interests and we encourage DEA members to write to their federal representative and Josh Frydenberg himself at: http://www.joshfrydenberg.com.au/guest/contact.aspx or through social media.
Points to make include:
- Reef systems support human health by providing healthy, long term jobs in eco-tourism.
- Medically useful compounds have been discovered in reef systems which can fight cancer, be used for pain relief and anaesthetics. It is likely that many more medically valuable agents are yet to be discovered.
- The Great Barrier Reef provides an important place for Australians to relax and recuperate and is a place of spiritual, cultural and psychological enrichment.
- The Great Barrier Reef and other reef systems need to be protected and a reduction in marine parks and reserves it unacceptable public policy.
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