Government of Western Australia Official Site


Fitzgerald Biosphere gains UNESCO listing

The WA Government has praised the efforts of communities on the south coast, following the global recognition of the area as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. With Fitzgerald River National Park at its core, the new biosphere includes 1.5 million hectares of conservation estate, State waters, farmland, and industrial and urban areas.

Fitzgerald River National Park was originally listed as a biosphere reserve in 1978, but required changes to meet the zoning criteria of the contemporary UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. In 2010, as a result of strong community support, the decision was made to renominate an extended biosphere reserve.

The renomination was coordinated by the Biosphere Implementation Group comprising representatives of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions; the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development; the Great Southern Development Commission; the shires of Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe; the Ravensthorpe Agricultural Initiative Network; the Fitzgerald Biosphere Group; and the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council. 

Stephen Dawson, Minister for the Environment, commented:“Fitzgerald River National Park is the largest single national park in the south-west of Western Australia and home to 12 threatened fauna and 39 threatened flora species, and contains about 20 per cent of WA’s described plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.”

“The park’s iconic status and natural assets are again being recognised at an international level, thanks to community, government and industry partnerships. I am excited to see a renewed focus on environmental, economic and social sustainability, as well as attracting scientific research now that the area is part of an international network of biosphere reserves.”

Image: The Esperance Express