The Reef tourism industry in Far North Queensland has taken a strong stand on the need to protect the Great Barrier Reef from the impacts of climate change.
The Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) today signed a formal Declaration demanding strong climate policies to protect the future of the Reef.
The Declaration was signed by AMPTO members at a summit in Cairns hosted jointly with the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).
“The Reef is still a dynamic, vibrant, awesome place but it is under serious threat from climate change and we need our leaders to put in place strong climate and energy policies to protect its future,” said Col McKenzie, CEO of AMPTO.
“The Reef is our livelihood, it generates $6 billion each year and sustains 64,000 jobs. Reef tourism businesses love the Reef and we take seriously our responsibility to look after this incredible place.
“Today we’re calling on all our political leaders to stand up for Far North Queensland businesses and jobs and demonstrate leadership on climate change to protect the future of our Reef.”
David Cazzulino, Great Barrier Reef Community Campaigner for AMCS welcomed the tourism industry’s strong stance on climate change.
“It’s not too late to save the Reef but time is critical,” said Mr Cazzulino.
“The federal government has a responsibility to protect the Reef and the local jobs that depend on it. Yet our representatives continue to support the expansion of the fossil fuel industry, such as Adani’s coal mine and still have no national energy policy.
“Coal and other fossil fuels are causing climate change and that’s damaging our Reef, we must say no to new coal mines and rapidly switch to renewable energy,” Mr Cazzulino said.
For more information and media interviews contact:
AMPTO – Col McKenzie on 0417 600 055 or at [email protected]
AMCS – David Cazzulino on 0447 238 095 or at [email protected]
Note to editors: the full wording of today’s declaration
REEF TOURISM CLIMATE DECLARATION
We love the Great Barrier Reef.
As Reef tourism businesses operating in the World Heritage area, we take seriously our responsibility to look after one of the world’s most beautiful and biologically rich ecosystems.
Together we’re calling for bold action to protect this natural icon.
We cannot understate the economic contribution of Reef tourism. The Reef is a magnet for people from Australia and around the world and generates $6 billion each year and sustains 64,000 jobs.
Despite the negative press, the Reef is a dynamic, vibrant, awesome place. But, like coral reefs around the world, it is under serious threat.
Climate change, mainly driven by burning coal and other fossil fuels, is the single biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. The carbon pollution from coal, oil and gas is heating the air and the oceans to dangerous levels. Coral reefs around the world were damaged during an unprecedented marine heatwave in 2016 and 2017.
It’s not too late to save our Reef but time is critical.
The federal government has a responsibility to honour the Paris Agreement and protect the Reef on behalf of all Australians, all humanity and future generations. Yet our representatives continue to support the expansion of coal and gas, including Adani’s mega coal mine.
To give our Reef the best chance for the future, Australia must join the rest of the world to rapidly phase out coal and other fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy.
We call on all our political leaders to stand up for Far North QLD businesses and jobs and fight for the future of our Reef.