Australia is on the spot to save the Great Barrier Reef an asset that is worth about $42 billion. According to the study, the ecosystem is considered an economic driver that is ‘too big to fail’. The World Heritage-listed barrier reef is the most significant and greatest structure globally and its significant economic and social value were estimated in the Deloitte Access Economic report for the first time ever since.
The report stated that the reef, which covers a huge area that is almost the size of Britain, Netherlands, and Switzerland combined is valued at about Aus$29 billion for the tourism sector, and generates more than 64,000 job opportunities for residents.
The indirect or non-use value, that is, the estimated revenue lost from the people who know the reef exists but have not yet visited (due to lack of adequate marketing) is about Aus$24 billion and other recreational users take up the rest.
A survey conducted in 2016 indicates that about 22% of the water corals are already destroyed and the impact is increasing as the reef continues to experience bleaching effect. The Australians, especially the conservationists, are worried about the environmental hazards on the Great Barrier Reef and what the impact means to the communities and sectors of the economy that largely depends on the reef for survival.
The bleaching happens when the abnormal weather conditions such as the warming sea temperatures cause the coral reefs to oust some tiny photosynthetic algae, making them lose their original color. The impact has now spread out to the deeper corals.
The study findings show the significance and the holistic view of the unbelievable economic and social value and opportunities that the Great Barrier Reef extends to the humans across the region and should be considered too huge to be destroyed.
Failure to protect the natural ecosystem of the reef could have serious impacts not only to the Australians but the world over. The water bodies are essentially connected and the effects could just spread to other areas in the near future. The reef is an asset that has a far-fetched value on several aspects including its biodiversity and job creation, and support for other essential industries.