GREAT BARRIER REEF (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     10th October 2023        
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Context: Recently, there has been growing concern about the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, despite its significant economic and environmental value.

  • Although nitrogen and phosphorous are essential to support the incredible biodiversity of the reef, too much nutrient can lead to losses of coral biodiversity and coverage
  • It also increases the abundance of algae and the ability of coral larvae to grow into adult coral and impacts seagrass coverage and health, which is crucial for fisheries and biodiversity.

Great Barrier Reef

  • Location: Situated in the Pacific Ocean, it can be found off the northeastern coast of Queensland, Australia, within the Coral Sea.
  • Largest Coral Reef Area: Indonesia
  • Coral Reef Areas in India: Gulf of Mannar, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Lakshadweep Islands and the Gulf of Kutch.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Status: The Great Barrier Reef earned the esteemed status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
  • Marine Protected Area: A substantial portion of this remarkable ecosystem falls under the protective umbrella of a marine protected area. 
  • This area is overseen and managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority of Australia.
  • Biodiversity: The Great Barrier Reef boasts an incredible array of marine life. Estimates suggest it serves as the habitat for around 1,500 species of fish and over 600 diverse coral species.

Initiatives to Protect Corals

  • A number of global initiatives are being taken to address the issues, like:
  • International Coral Reef Initiative
  • Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)
  • Global Coral Reef Alliance (GCRA)
  • The Global Coral Reef R&D Accelerator Platform
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