UN mission can’t become a tourism campaign as Great Barrier Reef hit by fourth mass coral bleaching in six years
SYDNEY, March 25 2022 - The UN monitoring mission in Australia to assess the health of the Reef must be taken to see the fourth mass coral bleaching event in six years confirmed today by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), Greenpeace Australia Pacific says. 
Last week GBRMPA reported “severe” and “widespread” bleaching but stopped short of declaring a mass bleaching event. However, new aerial surveys have confirmed that bleaching of multiple reefs across all four sections of the 2,300km-long marine park qualifies this as a mass coral bleaching event, the first to occur in a La Niña year.
“The beloved, vibrant colours of the Great Barrier Reef are being replaced by ghostly white corals. It is vital that the UN mission currently surveying the health of the Reef is able to witness and record this climate damage firsthand, and not just the postcard-perfect locations the Morrison Government chooses to showcase,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate Impacts Campaigner, Martin Zavan said.
“This is a scientific mission, not a tourism campaign for the Morrison Government. If the Government is genuine about letting the UN mission form a comprehensive picture of the state of the Reef then it must take the mission to the northern and central Reef. Here, corals are being cooked by temperatures up to four degrees above average, which is particularly alarming during a La Niña year when ocean temperatures are cooler.”
The Great Barrier Reef has been hit by four mass bleaching events in the last six years. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority downgraded the outlook for the Reef from “poor” to “very poor” in 2019 and last year the World Heritage Committee made a draft recommendation that the Reef be listed as a World Heritage Site “In Danger” because of climate change.
Download videos and photos of Greenpeace’s rally and direct communication to the UNESCO mission here. All content will be live by 1pm (AEDT). Keep refreshing.
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Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate Impacts Campaigner, Martin Zavan
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