SPONSORED BY AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
With heavy-weight names such as Sir David Attenborough, Robert Downey Jr. and Leonardo DiCaprio leading conversations about climate change; it's concerning to think governments aren't waking up and taking serious action to protect natural living organisms like the Great Barrier Reef.
It's no secret that time is certainly not on our side and we need to start making big changes now so that we can enjoy these beautiful natural spectacles for decades to come.
Australian National University marine biologist Dr Jennie Mallela has spent a decade researching the Great Barrier Reef and how it's being affected by pollution and climate change. She leads a research team that has been focusing on understanding and responding to real world coral reef problems.
There were loads of people campaigning against Queensland's Adani coalmine because there were fears there would be runoff that would end up on the reef.
Well, Dr Mallela has conducted research into the impacts of phosphate mining on coral reef communities and reef development and has told LADbible: "If we don't curb pollution and climate change now and step up to the challenge, then I suspect we could lose it in this lifetime.
"We still have some much more to learn, unknown species, unknown planetary roles. If we lose the reef, we lose a uniquely beautiful and iconic ecosystem. We also lose 64,000 sustainable jobs in Australia and we lose a fundamental and intrinsic part of Australia."
While the Great Barrier Reef is a priceless natural wonder of the world, you can't ignore it's $6.4 billion contribution to the Australian economy. That's why Dr Mallela thinks it is so important for young adults to learn about the reef and it's delicate ecosystem.
While Dr Mallela is doing her part by educating young Australians, she also believes the Australian government needs to step up and take action - specifically on long-term sustainable policy measures that protects our environment for future generations.
The Australian National University has a coral reef course, which allows students to immerse themselves in reef science and spend an intensive period of time out in the field with guidance from experts and multidisciplinary scientists.
In support of LADbible Australia's efforts to make The Great Barrier Reef an Australian citizen and get her the same rights as every other Aussie (most importantly, the right to life), you can click here and let the Australian government know that we can all do better.Featured Image Credit: Supplied/Dr. Jennie Mallela