Noosa Shire was recently awarded biosphere reserve status for another 10 years by the United Nations Education Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as part of its Man and the Biosphere programme (MAB).
Noosa is one of nine biosphere reserve sites in Australia, selected and promoted globally by the UN as worthy examples of how humans can co-exist prosperously within their natural environment.
While Noosa Council and other government agencies manage the Noosa Biosphere, the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation (NBRF) supports environment-focused science and social projects intended to preserve and enhance the Noosa Shire’s sustainable ecological and economic health.
“We’re recognised as a biosphere reserve because of our distinct relationship with the environment in which we live – what Noosa is known for,” said Rex Halverson, Chair of the Foundation.
“Noosa is a special place and it’s up to all of us in the community to help maintain this unique balance between people and nature.
“We need to continually find ways to further reduce our impacts in the face of a changing climate and how we work towards a sustainable future.”
The NBRF works in collaboration with community and environmental groups, and universities to identify and fund key research projects and on the ground programs.
“Our mandate is to enable projects that enhance biodiversity conservation or promote sustainable living in Noosa,” said Mr Halverson.
“We do this by bridging the gap between the various groups in our region working towards a common goal and using science and research to guide our thinking and actions.”
NBRF has been central to innovative research projects that protect Noosa’s iconic environmental assets.
The health of the Noosa River system and protecting Noosa’s koala population have been two key priorities of the Foundation recently.
“We’ve been working closely with research teams from both the University of the Sunshine Coast and University of Queensland which has resulted in valuable data that will inform future initiatives.
“We also held a symposium last year with local koala research and care groups. A number of priority actions were identified as key to ensuring the future of Noosa’s koala.
“This collaborative model of working together to solve some of Noosa’s big biodiversity challenges is a model we’d like to do more of.
“Issues we’re keen to tackle into the future include continuing our strategy to protect the Noosa koala, better understand the issues facing the Glossy Black Cockatoo, as well as supporting additional biodiversity education.
“An exciting new project we’ve been supporting recently is the establishment of the Noosa Environmental Education Hub which offers curriculum extension activities related to the biosphere reserve to schools.”
Noosa is connected to a global network of 701 biosphere reserves in 124 countries under the UNESCO MAB Programme. In 2018, UNESCO commended Noosa on its social and environmental achievements and as a result renewed Noosa’s status for another 10 years.
Noosa News – Friday 24th April 2020