In 2009 the Great Sandy region was awarded Biosphere Reserve status by UNESCO, the global organisation that also awards World Heritage Listings.
The decision gives worldwide recognition to the Fraser Coast region, neighbouring Gympie area and the Bundaberg coastline and puts it in the same class as the Galapagos Islands, the Central Amazon, the Everglades and Uluru.
The concept of the UNESCO’s Man and Biospheres program is to protect natural resources while using them at the same time – or balancing marine conservation and sustainable development.
Important aspects of the Biosphere include:
- World’s tallest and most complex rainforests growing in sand
- Fringing coral reefs and more marine diversity than the entire Great Barrier Reef
- Almost half of all Australia’s bird species
- Major breeding site for endangered marine turtles
- Oldest and largest unconsolidated sand mass in the world
- 7558 recorded species of flora and fauna
- Best observable ancient dune chronological sequencing
- Declared Dugong sanctuary
- RAMSAR wetlands – internationally declared feeding ground for migratory birds
- Critical habitat for rare and engendered species
- A major transitory point for humpback whales on their annual southern migration
- World’s largest and highest perched dune lakes
For more information visit www.greatsandybiosphere.org