About Fraser Island – General Background

The Burnett Mary Regional Group nominated the whole of the Fraser Coast Regional Council and the Gympie Regional Council area accepted by UNESCO in 2008.  Although this encompasses a lot more than Fraser Island including the cities of Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Gympie it means that Fraser Island both a World Heritage and Biosphere site.  While not all World Heritage sites are also Biosphere sites Kakadu and Uluru-KataTjuta National Parks have double listing.


Biosphere reserves are sites recognised under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program that innovate and demonstrate approaches to conservation and sustainable development. They serve as ‘living laboratories’ for testing and demonstrating integrated management of land, water and biodiversity. The program was launched in 1971 before the World Heritage Convention was created.

They are endorsed by national governments based on a submission by the community, and remain under sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located, yet share their experience and ideas nationally, regionally and internationally within the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. There are 529 sites worldwide in 105 countries.  Australia has several Biosphere Reserves including Noosa in Queensland.