On 3 November 2023, Noosa Shire will recognise its UNESCO status as part of the International Day for Biosphere Reserves.
“This is a significant day for biosphere reserves around the world,” said Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation’s Chair, Fiona Berkin.
“Today, communities around the globe celebrate their commitment to sustainability and living in harmony with their natural environment,” she said.
The International Day for Biosphere Reserves is an invitation to take inspiration from these regions to implement genuine sustainable development practices everywhere, with full respect for both nature and the living world.
Year on year, the need for tackling environmental issues becomes more urgent as challenges such as climate change, habitat loss and the loss of biodiversity near a tipping point.
UNESCO states that “our relationship with nature and other living beings needs a radical rethink in order to address these issues – we need to design and create a truly shared world.”
Biosphere reserves around the world have shown that it is possible to establish a sustainable and harmonious relationship with nature.
A biosphere reserve is an area declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as having achieved a notable balance between environment and sustainable human development.
These sites of excellence demonstrate local solutions to global challenges by involving local communities and all interested stakeholders in planning and management of three main functions: nature conservation; scientific research and learning; and sustainable economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable.
Noosa is recognised globally for its rich biodiversity surrounding and weaving through a thriving urban population.
In 2007, the Noosa Shire was the first region in Queensland to be designated with Biosphere Reserve status, recognising decades of our community working together to live sustainably, in harmony with nature.
“It’s the Noosa community’s unwavering commitment to environmental protection that lies at the heart of our prosperity and desirable lifestyle,” said Ms Berkin.
Our region is special in that we now have three adjoining sites, with neighbouring Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve (Burnett region) to our north, and Sunshine Coast Biosphere Reserve to our south.
As part of a global network of 738 sites across 134 countries under the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves and the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves (WNICBR), the network provides a platform to share knowledge and develop approaches to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Just recently, the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation had the privilege of meeting with other coastal and island nations at the 11th Meeting of the WNICBR on Butchulla Country at K’gari.
It was an opportunity for Noosa to share our learnings and future focuses, collaborate with peers and hear how other biosphere reserves are approaching issues such as climate, protecting threatened species and working more closely with Traditional Owners.
“To celebrate Noosa’s commitment to conservation and sustainable living, the Foundation established the Noosa Biosphere Awards to recognise those championing environment and sustainability practices within the Noosa Biosphere.
“Now in its third year, we will be announcing this year’s finalists soon with winners presented at a special event on 30 November,” said Ms Berkin.
Winners will be announced at the Noosa Biosphere Awards ceremony on Thursday 30 November, sponsored by Maravista Farm – a picturesque 250 hectare working macadamia farm in the Noosa Hinterland that grows organic and heirloom produce for the Ogilvie Group venues (Aromas Noosa, Rickys and Locale Noosa). Maravista Farm enables the restaurants to access the freshest possible local produce as well as food in different stages of the growth cycle.
The Awards event will be held at the Sunshine Beach Surf Life Saving Club and tickets are available for $25. Get tickets.