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Strategy launched to save Great Barrier Reef

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A new strategy has been launched in an attempt to protect the Great Barrier Reef in Australia from the effects of climate change and safeguard its AUD$5.1bn (£2.6bn, US$4.3bn, €3bn) tourism industry.

The Great Barrier Reef Tourism Climate Change Action Strategy 2009 - 2012 has been developed to provide a way forward for the tourism industry and government to take action in response to climate change.

It aims to raise awareness among visitors and tourism businesses of climate change and encourages the more than 770 licensed marine park tourism operators to minimise damage to the reef and use a specially developed emissions calculator to work out, and then reduce, their carbon footprint.

Lisha Mulqueeny of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, said: "This strategy is an essential step for the future health of the Reef and the tourism industry that relies upon it."

The introduction to the report states: "The Great Barrier Reef is one of the largest, healthiest, and best managed reef systems in the world, but it is at a crossroads. While it can cope with stress better than most reefs, the reef is not immune to climate change.

"As an iconic global destination, the reef and its future outlook is integral to the sustainability of the tourism industry. By taking proactive action to tackle climate change, Reef resilience is enhanced and the marine tourism industry that relies on the Reef continues to be positioned as a top international and national travel destination.”

The strategy was unveiled at the Tourism Futures Conference on Australia's Gold Coast last week by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Queensland Tourism Industry Council and the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators on behalf of the Great Barrier Reef Tourism Climate Change Action Group.

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A new strategy has been launched in an attempt to protect the Great Barrier Reef in Australia from the effects of climate change and safeguard its AUD$5.1bn tourism industry.
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