Global biosphere network
The Noosa Biosphere Reserve is part of a global network, connected under the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR).
There are 714 biosphere reserve sites across 129 countries worldwide.
Noosa is one of four reserves in Australia, and only one of two biosphere reserves in Queensland, with neighbouring Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve.
Man and the Biosphere Program
UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program (MaB) is an Intergovernmental Scientific Program that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.
Read more about UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program on its website.
Celebrating 10 years
In 2007, Noosa’s exceptionalism was internationally recognised by UNESCO consenting to the designation of our Shire as the Noosa Biosphere Reserve under its MaB Program.
Under the MaB guidelines, each biosphere reserve is subject to a periodic review every ten years, based on a report prepared by the concerned authority – in our case, the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation.
In 2018, the NBRF submitted its review of the Noosa Biosphere Reserve. It highlighted our region’s major achievements over the 10-year period, a collective achievement across community organisations and people:
- An increase in the amount of land protected for its natural values, creating an extension of critical habitat for wildlife, including an additional 6,936 hectares of land protected in National Park bringing our total terrestrial protected area coverage to 36.5%.
- The early stages of ‘decoupling’ population growth from economic growth. While Noosa’s population growth has slowed considerably over the past decade from 2.1% to 0.8%, its economy has continued to grow at a faster rate with an average 2.4% growth in GRP per annum over the past five years.
- Formal engagement between the Noosa Shire Council and the Kabi Kabi First Nation [Traditional Owners] following successful registration by the Commonwealth Government of the Kabi Kabi native title claim over parts of the Noosa Shire.
- Continuation of award-winning tourism initiatives such as the recognition of Noosa as a National Surfing Reserve in 2014, and a World Surfing Reserve in 2017.
- Australia’s first oyster restoration project in a river system. The Noosa River Oyster Reef Restoration project is jointly-funded by the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation, The Thomas Foundation, Noosa Parks Association, and The Nature Conservancy, and is being delivered by researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Other Australian biosphere reserves
Noosa is one of four biosphere reserves in Australia, along with:
- The Fitzgerald Biosphere Reserve, located in south west Western Australia
- The Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Biosphere Reserve, located in Victoria
- The Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve, located in the Fraser Coast region of Queensland