Close  

Great Barrier Reef a $42 billion asset ‘too big to fail’ — study

/ 11:03 AM June 26, 2017

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 22, 2014 shows clownfish swimming through coral on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. / AFP PHOTO / William WEST

Australia’s under-pressure Great Barrier Reef is an asset worth Aus$56 billion (US$42 billion) and as an ecosystem and economic driver is “too big to fail,” a study said Monday.

The World Heritage-listed reef is the largest living structure on Earth and its economic and social value was calculated for the first time in the Deloitte Access Economics report commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Using economic modelling, it said the reef was worth Aus$29 billion to tourism, supporting 64,000 jobs.

The “indirect or non-use” value – people that have not yet visited the reef but know it exists – was estimated at Aus$24 billion, with recreational users such as boaters making up the rest.

FEATURED STORIES

The study, based on six months’ analysis, comes as the reef suffered an unprecedented second straight year of coral bleaching due to warming sea temperatures linked to climate change.

READ: Great Barrier Reef may never recover from bleaching: study

It is also under pressure from farming run-off, development and the crown-of-thorns starfish, with the problems compounded this year by a powerful cyclone pummeling the area.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation director Steve Sargent said the study showed that no single Australian asset contributed as much to international perceptions of “Brand Australia.”

“At $56 billion, the reef is valued at more than 12 Sydney Opera Houses,” he said.

“This report sends a clear message that the Great Barrier Reef – as an ecosystem, as an economic driver, as a global treasure – is too big to fail.”

The study included a survey of 1,500 Australian and international respondents from 10 countries which found people value the reef for a range of reasons -– due to its importance for tourism but also the belief that Australia would not be the same without it.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lead author, Deloitte Access’ John O’Mahony, said it was clear the reef was “priceless and irreplaceable.”

“But we’ve been able to look at it as an ‘asset’ that has incredible value on multiple fronts — from its biodiversity and job creating potential to its support for critical industries and standing among international visitors to Australia,” he said.

Australia last month hosted a summit of more than 70 of the world’s leading marine experts to work on a blueprint on how best to respond to the threats facing the reef.

READ: Great Barrier Reef damaged beyond repair, marine experts say

Options explored included developing coral nurseries, strategies to boost culling of crown-of-thorns starfish, expanding monitoring systems and identifying priority sites for coral restoration.

Key to the talks was the need to slash greenhouse gas emissions to prevent warming sea temperatures./rga

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: asset, Australia, Conservation, Economy, environment, Great Barrier Reef, Investment, reef
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
entertainment

Actor Miko Palanca passes away at 41

December 10, 2019 08:58 AM

entertainment

U2 now in Manila for December 11 concert

December 10, 2019 08:54 AM

newsinfo

6-month extension of Angkas pilot run pushed

December 10, 2019 08:25 AM



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.