Fraser Island's World Heritiage Listing
Fraser Island attained its World Heritage Listing in December 1992 in recognition of the island's exceptional sand dune systems, its rainforests on sand and its pristine freshwater lakes.
Fraser Island is the tenth World Heritage listed site in Australia, joining the ranks of the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics of Queensland, Uluru National Park (formerly Ayers Rock) and Lord Howe Island. The listing recognises Fraser's combination of environments as having outstanding universal value and its protection for future generations as a global responsibility.
World Heritage Listings began almost twenty years ago under the auspices of the United Nations with establishment of the World Heritage Convention, to which Australia is a signatory. 127 countries are party to the convention, established to identify, protect and preserve properties which qualify for World Heritage Listing.
The two criteria against which Fraser Island was judged eligible for listing as a natural site were as follows: if it was an outstanding example representing significant on-going geological processes, biological evolution and man's interaction with the natural environment; and if it has superlative natural phenomena, formations or features.
While the World Heritage Committee does not have the power to dictate how the listed site is managed, signatories to the convention, such as Australia, have an obligation to observe the ethic of the listing. The purpose of World Heritage Listing is to recognise Fraser Island as having unique and precious natural environments of universal value that should be protected.
Fraser Island has emerged from a century of exploitation of its rich resources - timber, sand minerals and fish. Logging and sand mining have ceased after many years of campaigning by environmental groups. The challenge for the island in the future will be in managing the growth in tourism.
A detailed management plan has been developed by the Fraser Implementation Unit, part of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage, for Fraser Island and the Great Sandy Region which sets a strategy to the year 2010.
The responsibility of protecting Fraser for future generations, however, belongs to all visitors in respecting the island's environments.
The unique qualities of Fraser Island make it a destination you must see!