Changing Planet

Great Barrier Reef supports 64,000 jobs and generates $6.4 billion for Australian economy, Deloitte calculates

The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living structure, spanning an area larger than the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the Netherlands put together, is not only a haven for countless thousands of marine species. The Great Barrier Reef also provides enormous economic services to people, with tourism, fishing, and recreational and scientific activities associated with the Reef supporting 64,000 jobs and contributing $6.4 billion (U.S. S4.9 billion) to the Australian GDP, according to an analysis published by the international financial advisory service Deloitte.

“The livelihoods and businesses the Great Barrier Reef supports across Australia far exceeds the numbers supported by many industries we would consider too big to fail,”according to a report prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, At what price? The economic, social and icon value of the Great Barrier Reef.

“This timely report is a much needed, holistic view of the incredible economic value and opportunities provided by the Great Barrier Reef. Any failure to protect this indispensable natural resource would have profound impacts not only to Australia but around the worl,” former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said in reaction to the report.

The analysis follows the unprecedented massive damage done to the Great Barrier Reef for two consecutive years by bleaching, a process whereby the warming ocean has been killing off much of the coral. (Great Barrier Reef being killed by coral bleaching, Unesco warns).

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
  • Reon Brand

    I honestly think we need to stop asking accountants with a narrow materialistic worldview to calculate the value of natural assets like the Great Barrier Reef. In fact, the value from an anthropological utilitarian view is completely irrelevant. The GBR is one of the major habitats of marine diversity in the world. We are living in an age where we are watching the collapse of marine and terrestrial ecosystems like a slow car crash and we are still measuring the value of these systems in terms of human leisure? It is really insane. The true value to the sustenance of our world is incalculable and it is certainly worth tens of trillions of dollars. There will be no world economy or humans if we allow these systems to collapse.

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