The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Environmentalists are warning that it is being destroyed.
The Reef is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq miles). It is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms and was named a World Heritage Site in 1981. It is threatened by pollution fishing and tourism and warming ocean temperatures. Here you can find and automatic compilation of all DW content referring to the Great Barrier Reef.
We visit two very different parts of the world where mining is raising big concerns among local communities: In Australia, protesters are calling for an end to the country's heavy reliance on coal mining as the Great Barrier Reef suffers the effects of warming, while in Chile, residents are raising the alarm over the environmental impact of lithium mining.
Australia is experiencing climate change up close. But despite years of drought, floods, and bushfires, many Australians still support the coal mining industry in the hope it will bring jobs and prosperity. Still, many others are concerned about the impact climate change will have on the Great Barrier Reef. Reporter Lena Bodewein met with coal supporters, climate activists and marine biologists.
Australian authorities have caught and killed three tiger sharks after a woman and a young girl sustained life-threatening injuries near the Great Barrier Reef. The victims were tourists in the popular Whitsunday region.
As water temperatures rise and ocean acidity levels increase, corals are dying off at record rates. Now, researchers believe they may be able to prevent coral bleaching in parts of the world's largest coral reef system.