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Australia pledges millions to save the Great Barrier Reef

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Australia pledges millions to save the Great Barrier Reef

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The Australian government has promised more than 300 million euros to help save the Great Barrier Reef - in the largest single investment for reef conservation and management in the country’s history.

The money will go towards improving water quality, tackling the crown-of-thorns starfish, expanding reef restoration and developing more resistant coral.

"This is the single largest investment in reef restoration and management in Australia's history,'' Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said. ''The money will go towards improving water quality, working with farmers to prevent sediment, nitrogen and pesticide run-off into the reef.''

The Great Barrier Reef off Australia's east coast is the world's largest coral system, visible even from outer space.

The 2,000-kilometre-long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands.

But in the past two years the world-heritage listed site has lost more than half its coral.

Environmentalists put the destruction down to climate change and pollution run-off.