In DepthConservation

Plan to protect Great Barrier Reef under fire

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Science  07 Nov 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6210, pp. 683
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6210.683

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Australia's Great Barrier Reef is under assault from fishers, agricultural runoff, and coastal development, and now climate change looms as a threat. But it was the prospect of humiliation—a threat by the World Heritage Committee to list the reef as "in danger"—that finally spurred the Australian government to act. It has crafted what it calls a comprehensive strategy to protect the reef's "values" while allowing "sustainable development and use." Scientists are not impressed. The draft plan "fails to effectively address" any of the pressures the reef is facing, according to a statement last week from the Australian Academy of Science, which argued that "much bolder action is required" to prevent further degradation.