Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Areas listed as World Heritage

The World Heritage list records the Earth’s greatest cultural and natural treasures.

In day-to-day terms inscription of the Greater Blue Mountains national park system on the World Heritage list of properies means that it will be managed to an improved standard. It should help to ensure those development proposals such as dams; cliff-top development or coal mining are not permitted to damage the world heritage property. In practice the World Heritage catchet gives environmental campaigning more leverage and influence.

Blue Mountains World Heritage Area

contains over a million hectares of eucalypt forests that are entirely protected within the publicly owned parks — the Blue Mountains, Wollemi, Nattai, Gardens of Stone and Thirlmere National Parks, and the Jenolan Caves Karst Reserve. It contains the Nattai, Kanangra-Boyd, Grose, Yengo and Wollemi wilderness areas, totalling over 650,000 hectares. The area embodies the highest wilderness qualities in the temperate region of mainland Australia and includes Wollemi, which at 361,000 hectares, is the largest protected eucalypt forest wilderness in the world. Recognition of the outstanding universal value of the Sydney Sandstone upland geomorphology was not pursued by Australia, but will be renominated.

Private lands within the property were excluded. These areas should be acquired and added to the World Heritage area as a priority. Except for Jenolan Caves and the Emirates Resort, tourism establishments are located well outside the park boundaries, on adjoining private lands. Several adjacent national parks, state recreation areas and regional parks offer further protection to the World Heritage property.