Youth activists demand climate action for Australian reefs

JODIE DEAN

Source: Leonard Low

Source: Leonard Low

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) say it is vital climate action is taken to preserve Australian reefs.

This week, cameras sent down to the sea bed of Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park by Parks Victoria revealed extensive coral reefs and diverse marine life, rivalling Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.

State Coordinator of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Olivia Hill, says that it is important that government action on climate change is taken to protect these marine parks.

“If our government doesn’t take action in the next five to ten years we lock ourselves into some pretty terrible impacts, especially with our oceans and on the reef. We’re already seeing rising sea temperatures and coral bleaching happening in the Pacific,” she said.

Dr Kathy Townsend from The University of Queensland’s Moreton Bay Research Station says that these marine parks are home to creatures found nowhere else.

“It’s important to be conserving biodiversity. Marine ecosystems are one of the most diverse places on the planet,” she said.

Dr Townsend says that keeping the oceans healthy is essential for the vitality of the planet and its inhabitants, human and sea creature alike.

“Making sure that we’ve got sanctuaries for various organisms and creatures, and habitats to be able to sustain itself is obviously important for the ecosystem as a whole, but it’s also important for us as human beings,” she said.

Ms Hill says that in order to make progress as a nation in regard to climate change, the public need to communicate.

“It’s important to make sure that when our politicians make decisions about these ecosystems that they know that we care about them,” she said. “To represent us, they have to do the right thing by reefs”.

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