Hollywood actors, former presidents and leading scientists join calls to save Great Barrier Reef

World famous scientists, royalty, former presidents and actors have added their names to a growing chorus of concerned citizens who are calling on the World Heritage Committee to ensure the Australian government takes the actions required to protect our Great Barrier Reef.

They have endorsed a statement, which says Australia and the world must act now on climate while there is still time to save the Reef.

The statement says the climate emergency is already evident in the Reef, pointing to the three severe coral bleaching events in just five years which have caused mass coral mortality.

Joanna Lumley (Pic by Rankin)They say limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C is a critical threshold for the Reef and urge Australia – as the custodian of the Reef – to implement a national plan compatible with 1.5°C.

The world renowned and respected endorsees support UNESCO’s recommendation to the World Heritage Committee to inscribe the Reef on the List of World Heritage In Danger.

The statement says: “We urge the world’s major emitters to undertake the most ambitious climate action under the Paris Agreement. There is still time to save the Great Barrier Reef, but Australia and the world must act now.

“We commend UNESCO for its leadership. We urge the World Heritage Committee to endorse UNESCO’s recommendation.”

The statement was organised by the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Australia’s leading marine conservation organisation.

AMCS CEO Darren Kindleysides thanked the leading names who agreed to endorse the statement at short notice.

“The influential signatories to this statement are from all over the world, showing that adoration and alarm for our Reef is not just a concern for Australians. The Reef belongs to the world, and as its custodian, Australia must show global leadership on climate action to preserve its future.”

It is the latest high profile call on the World Heritage Committee to accept the UNESCO recommendations following public letters from five world renowned scientists, Australia’s leading environmental non-government organisations and over 50 influential Australians.

The 21-member World Heritage Committee will decide later this week whether to ratify UNESCO’s science-based recommendation to add the Reef to the World Heritage ‘in danger’ list.

The statement can be read here.

The statement endorsees are:

HSH Prince Albert II

Sovereign Prince of Monaco

Philippe Cousteau

Journalist, explorer and ocean advocate

Ashlan Gorse Cousteau

Journalist, explorer and ocean advocate

Sylvia Earle

President and Chairman of Mission Blue, Ocean Elder

Callum Roberts

Professor of Marine Conservation and author

Christiana Figueres

Founding Partner, Global Optimism and former Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

José María Figueres

Former President of Costa Rica and Co-Founder of Ocean Unite

Adrian Grenier

Actor, environmental activist, film-maker and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador

Mohamed Nasheed GCSK

Former President of the Maldives

Joanna Lumley OBE FRGS

Actor, producer, activist

Lewis Pugh OIG

Ocean advocate, pioneer swimmer, UN Patron of the Oceans

Enric Sala

National Geographic explorer-in-residence, Pristine Seas

Jason Momoa

Actor, producer and environmentalist

Cody Simpson


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