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A report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that the Great Barrier Reef is in crisis.

Great Barrier Reef

  • It is the world’s most extensive and spectacular Coral Reef ecosystem.
  • The reef is located in the Coral Sea (North-East Coast), off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
  • It can be seen from outer space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms.
  • This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps.
  • These polyps have microscopic algae called zooxanthellae living within their tissues. The corals and algae have a mutualistic (symbiotic) relationship.
  • It is a part of world Heritage site.

Findings of the Report

  • Increase in the ocean temperature is resulting in coral bleaching.
  • The ocean warming and marine heatwaves will cause the loss and degradation of tropical shallow coral reefs, leading to “widespread destruction” of coral reef ecosystems.
  • It will lead to impact the employment opportunities.
  • It will reduce the revenue generation in the economy.
  • It will result in degradation of the speices.
  • It results in rising of sea levels.
  • Increase in ocean acidification.

Initiatives to Protect Corals

  • The Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), India has included the studies on coral reefs under the Coastal Zone Studies (CZS).
  • In India, the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), with help from Gujarat’s forest department, is attempting a process to restore coral reefs using “biorock” or mineral accretion technology.
  • National Coastal Mission Programme, to protect and sustain coral reefs in the country.
  • Reducing the pollution limit.
  • Using eco – friendly methods.
  • Bringing up global initiatives to protect the corals.

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