World Heritage site the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest living structure on this planet, and according to a new study, it is worth $56 billion. It is too big an economic driver and ecosystem to fail, a study revealed.

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation commissioned the Deloitte Access Economics report, which for the first time calculated the reef’s economic and social value. The reef is reportedly bigger than the Netherlands, Switzerland and Britain combined. It supports 64,000 jobs and brings $29 billion through tourism.

The study used economic modelling to ascertain these figures. Researchers involved conducted a six-month analysis and ascertained the non-use or indirect value, which came to be $24 billion.

Recreational users made up the rest. No other Australian asset contributes so much to the “Brand Australia.” The study could be viewed as a call-to-action as the reef suffers from deadly effects of coral bleaching for the second straight year. The bleaching has been linked to rising ocean temperatures.

Experts have suggested climate change as the primary cause of such bleaching. A powerful cyclone this year has made things worse. The reef is under constant pressure from crown-of-thorns starfish, manmade developments and farming run-off.

“At $56 billion, the reef is valued at more than 12 Sydney Opera Houses. This report sends a clear message that the Great Barrier Reef — as an ecosystem, as an economic driver, as a global treasure — is too big to fail,” Steve Sargent, Great Barrier Reef Foundation director, told AFP, reports The Australian.

“Any failure to protect this indispensable natural resource would have profound impacts not only to Australia but around the world,” said Al Gore, US presidential candidate turned conservationist. He also described the study as “much needed, holistic view of the incredible economic value and opportunities provided by the Great Barrier Reef.”

The reef is “priceless and irreplaceable,” and people value the reef due to a variety of reasons. While 1,500 respondents surveyed in the study understand the reef’s importance in tourism, they also believe Australia won’t be the same without it.

In order to save the reef and all other reefs in the world, strong international efforts are required to address the burgeoning problem of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2015, UNESCO nearly put the Great Barrier Reef on the endangered list. It has committed nearly two billion dollars to protect the reef. Stay tuned on IBT AU for more updates on Australia’s greatest treasure.