Fighting our own governments to save the environment

Humankind has entered into a new era known as the anthroprocene, a time where humans have the ability to influence the future of every single animal and ecosystem on the planet. In as little as 150 years, we have gone from 1 billion to 7 billion people and that has not come without a high price. Rapid and unsustainable development has meant we are exhausting our natural resources at an unprecedented rate.

This has resulted in human induced climate change, with the main contributor being the burning of fossil fuels like coal.

It is with great irony that Australia boasts of the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the biggest and richest natural reef in the world, home to an incredibly rich array of biodiversity. Already under threat from the pressures of ocean acidification, coral bleaching and intensified tropical cyclones, it has now come under threat from the unsustainable development of shipping ports along the Queensland coast.

In particular the port of Abbot Point, located 92 km North of the world famous Whitsunday Islands and has become the centre of a battle to halt dredging and dumping in the GBR vicinity. Studies show that dredging can more than double the level of coral disease. Dredge plumes were also found starve the coral of light disrupting photosynthesis. Unable to photosynthesize the coral becomes stressed, prone to diseases that can kill them.

In July 2014, I visited and dove in the Great Barrier Reef. This magnificent reef is under threat like never before and it needs our help, since the Australian government is continuously failing to protect it. WWF Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society got together to create Fight For The Reef, which creates conscious about the needs and methods to protect this fragile ecosystem. All those worldwide citizens who support Fight For The Reef are safeguarding a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s horrifying we have to fight the Australian government to keep safe this world marvel. 

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