Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Estimated at $42 Billion

According to Deloitte Access Economics, the Australian Great Barrier Reef ‘s estimated worth is $42 Billion

Economists decided to help preserve the Australian Great Barrier Reef by placing a price tag on the world’s largest living environment.

According to Deloitte, the Great Barrier Reef is estimated at $42 Billion, or $56 billion in Australian dollars.

“That’s more than 12 Sydney Opera Houses, or the cost of building Australia’s new submarines. It’s even more than four times the length of the Great Wall of China in $100 notes.” the researchers said.

During the last two years, the underwater ecosystem has been under several threats, as the coral bleaching has been triggered by waters warmed by climate change. Bleaching takes place when corals are stressed by the changes in their own environment, which leads to them discharging tiny photosynthetic algae, commonly known as zooxanthellae.

“Today, our reef is under threat like never before. Two consecutive years of global coral bleaching are unprecedented, while increasingly frequent extreme weather events and water quality issues continue to affect Reef health. So there has never been a more critical time to understand precisely what the Reef contributes and, therefore, what we stand to lose without it.” Great Barrier Reef Foundation Chair John Schubert mentioned in the foreword of the report

As found in the report made by Deloitte, the reef contributes $6.4 billion Australian dollars to the country’s economy each year. More than that, it has more than 1,700 species of fish and marine life, and supports somewhere around 64,000 jobs, which is more than any company in Australia.

“The livelihoods and businesses the reef supports across the nation far exceed the numbers supported by industries we would consider too big to fail,” states the report.

When economists calculated the reef’s worth, they took into consideration its social, economic and asset value. More than half of the estimated amount comes from tourists visiting the reef. In addition, $2 billion comes from those who use the reef on a daily basis.

“With the reef under threat, our report is a major step in looking to value nature’s significance in monetary terms and using this information to help inform what we do to protect and save important natural assets,” Deloitte partner John O’Mahony said in a statement

Australia is currently putting in all the possible effort to preserve the reef, including focusing on a sustainable, functional reef, climate change adaptation and improving the quality of the water.