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Australia pledges $700M to protect Great Barrier Reef

Australia on Friday announced $700 million to protect the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef that is home to more than 1,500 types of fish, over 400 kinds of hard corals and many other species.

In a statement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government will invest in conservation projects over nine years, an initiative that will also support 64,000 jobs in Queensland.

“We are backing the health of the reef and the economic future of tourism operators, hospitality providers and Queensland communities that are at the heart of the reef economy,” he said. “This is already the best managed reef in the world and today we take our commitment to a new level."

The additional funding will add to an existing $1.4bn package in the Reef 2050 plan to shield the reef from environmental threats over the next three decades.

It will fund projects that reduce erosion and prevent illegal fishing, besides research and community-led projects including species protection and habitat restoration.

Stretching over 2,300km (1,400 miles) off Australia's north-east coast, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world.


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