Friday, July 4, 2008

Garnaut report sparks call to arms for at-risk Barrier Reef

ABC News Online, Posted 1 hour 54 minutes ago

Tourism at the Great Barrier Reef is worth about $5 billion annually. (AAP: File photo)

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says it accepts the findings of the Garnaut report on the impact of climate change on the reef.

The report found if carbon emissions are not reduced, the reef could die within decades.

The Authority's Russel Reichelt says governments and industry must take strong action to protect the reef.

He says the Garnaut report relied on 15 years of scientific research into global warming.

"It's also relying on the forecast from the inter-governmental panel on climate change, which have painted a range of futures, but even the rosiest future causes me great concern that the reef will be severely damaged within 20 to 40 years," he said.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council also accepts the report's findings.

Chief executive Daniel Gschwind says a report delivered four years ago showed carbon emissions could kill the reef.

He says the reef is worth about $5 billion annually and must be protected.

"We're very conscious of the role that tourism plays and the effect it could have on tourism if we don't do the right thing, so it is a very important issue for our industry, it's an industry that is all based on conservation and nature," he said.

"We will certainly study the report with some interest."

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