by Mark Williams, Reuters article An ocean conservation group has been accused of “sabotaging” its efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef from coral bleaching, and it has been suspended from the Great Lakes Initiative.
A group called the Great Australian Reef Alliance (GARA) had been working to ensure that Australia’s Great Barrier Barrier Reef, which was hit by bleaching last year, could remain protected.GARA said it had been suspended by the Government, following an investigation by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABS).GARA was suspended because it did not comply with its guidelines on coral conservation, it said in a statement.
The ABC understands that the suspension is not connected to the latest coral bleached coral bleaches that have hit the Great Southern Barrier Reef.ABC climate correspondent Michael Smith says there are concerns about whether coral conservation can work.
“The Australian government is putting in place regulations which are very clear on what is acceptable to be done and what isn’t, and I think that is one of the issues that is being raised,” he said.
“But if the Government does indeed ban coral protection, then we are not going to have a successful coral conservation project.”
Mr Smith says the suspension has caused concern among some of Australia’s largest environmental groups, and many reef advocates have called for a public inquiry into what happened to the reef.
“What we are seeing is that some groups have been caught in a kind of Catch-22, because they have the ability to make recommendations to the Government and they can’t,” he says.
“They can’t actually get their recommendations through Parliament and there is no guarantee that the recommendations are implemented.”
So they’re saying we need a public review and that is a really difficult thing to do.
“But Gina Rinehart, the former mining magnate who now owns the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, has warned the suspension may not be enough.”
I think there’s a lot of confusion on that, the Government is putting it out there, and so we’ll have to see what happens,” she said.
The Australian Greens, the Greens’ federal parliamentary branch, and environmental group the Greens have called on the Government to suspend the Great American Coral Conservation Coalition (GACCC) from the national environmental protection program (NEP).”
We need to take action to ensure the Great Coral Conservation Campaign, which is currently on indefinite hiatus, is reinstated into the NEP and continues its work to protect our reefs and to safeguard our coastal communities,” Greens leader Scott Ludlam said in the statement.”
We should have a real national conversation about how to safeguard this fragile ecosystem, and to prevent it from being completely destroyed by the destructive, climate change-driven sea level rise.