SYDNEY – Australia announced on Tuesday a fund of AU$2 million ($1.59 million) for innovative ideas to save the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in northeast Australia.
The fund is aimed at developing “innovative solutions which will protect corals and encourage the recovery of damaged reefs,” Australia’s Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said in a statement.
“The Reef is the planet’s greatest living wonder. The scale of the problem is big and big thinking is needed, but it’s important to remember that solutions can come from anywhere,” Frydenberg added.
Queensland’s Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Leeanne Enoch, urged innovative solutions, keeping in mind tourism, fishing and other sectors in the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef comprises 3,000 reefs and over 1,000 islands, and is spread over an area of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles).
It is home to 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusks and had suffered two consecutive bleaching episodes in 2016 and 2017, which caused much damage to the corals.