World Heritage Day provides us an opportunity to recognise Queensland’s unique biodiversity and the efforts taken to continue to protect and conserve it.
“Queensland is home to five of Australia’s 19 World Heritage Areas and the Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensure they are protected,” Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said.
“World Heritage Areas are outstanding examples of the world’s natural heritage and range from ancient sand dunes to rainforests, and coral reefs to fossil sites in the north-west.”
The five listed World Heritage Areas in Queensland are K’gari (Fraser Island), Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, Australian Fossil Mammal Sites – Riversleigh section, Wet Tropics of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.
Ms Enoch said Queensland has more to celebrate with two internationally renowned natural areas reaching significant milestones this year.
“This year marks the 25th anniversary of the listing of the Riversleigh World Heritage Area and the extension to the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area in 1994,” she said.
“The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area was originally listed in 1986 to cover rainforests in New South Wales and was extended in 1994 to include rainforests on the Queensland side of the border.
“Gondwana tells us so much about the development of our landscape, plants and animals,” Ms Enoch said.
“The exceptional natural values of these rainforests has been at least 180 million years in the making. Few places on earth contain so many ancient families of plants and animals that once covered the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana.
“Containing a fascinating diversity of plants and animals, these rainforests are biodiversity hot-spots with large numbers of species found only in this unique area.
“Today many of the species in this “living ark” are under threat. To meet our World Heritage obligations, and secure this biological treasure trove for future generations, we require strong and effective responses to significant threats, such as climate change.”
The Australian Fossil Mammal Sites World Heritage Area is a serial property listed in 1994 for its outstanding representation of the evolution of Australian mammals and the quality of the fossils, which are preserved in limestone. It comprises Riversleigh in Western Queensland and Naracoorte in South Australia.
“Riversleigh was placed on the World Heritage List because it represents a major stage of the earth’s evolutionary history and is an outstanding example of ongoing ecological and biological processes.
“The area’s fossil deposits are among the richest and most extensive in the world,” Minister Enoch said.