A new World Heritage area in northeast NSW?

In 2012, NPA commissioned an assessment of the World Heritage values of the Eucalypt forests of northeast NSW, which was developed in consultation with local community groups.

The report looked at the area from the Queensland border to the Hunter River Floodplain, between the NSW coast and the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range. Further investigation of this area was recommended by a panel of World Heritage Experts in 1999, based on its outstanding Eucalypt forests.

The report’s findings

The assessment found that the eucalypt forests of northeast NSW are extremely diverse, with over 140 species of eucalypts, 43 of which are found nowhere else in the world. The area encompasses many different ecosystems, from towering tall eucalypt forests to low, twisted mallees growing on sand dunes.

These forests are also home to a remarkable array of animals and plants, including more than 350 threatened species, strengthening the case for World Heritage listing of these areas.

The report concludes that the forests of northeast NSW are outstanding examples of Eucalypt-dominated vegetation, and are good candidates for World Heritage listing.

You can download a copy of the report in several sections, as it is a large document. If you would like to obtain a free hard copy of the full report, please contact the office on (02) 9299 0000.

What’s next?

NPA is committed to acting on the report’s findings and advancing the case for World Heritage listing of this unique area.

World Heritage listing can only be applied to areas that are already being managed for conservation, such as national parks, so we will focus on listing of the existing conservation reserves in the region. In the future there may be potential to include additional areas in the World Heritage nomination, when more high-conservation value forests in the region are protected in national parks.

NPA is working with both the NSW and Commonwealth governments to gain their support for this project, and to encourage them to act on some of the key recommendations of the report. These are:

  • The NSW and Commonwealth governments need to decide on a strategy for ensuring that these areas (and others) with outstanding Eucalypt values receive World Heritage nomination.
  • The State and Commonwealth governments should undertake a more comprehensive assessment of World Heritage Eucalypts in northeast NSW and southeast Queensland. This assessment should also take into account their importance for conservation of the area’s diverse native plants and animals, including threatened species such as the Koala, and their cultural, historical and aesthetic values.