UNESCO Biosphere award for FFI project site

The nomination of The Great Sandy Biosphere – which FFI has been working on for the past year – has been successful! UNESCO recently awarded Biosphere Reserve status to The Great Sandy coastal area in southeast Queensland.

FFI Australia has been supporting our partner The Burnett Mary Regional Group for Natural Resource Management Inc (BMRG) in the nomination because we recognized the value of one of Australia’s most diverse areas.

The Great Sandy contains the majority of the world’s complex rainforests growing on sand and significant populations of species which have declined elsewhere in Australia.

It is a major migration route for humpback whales and is recognized as an internationally significant feeding and roosting location for migratory birds. It also supports highly significant dugong populations and breeding sites for oceanic turtles in the Pacific Ocean.

FFI is proud to bring our expertise from our conservation projects around the world to contribute to the development of the Biosphere’s management plans.

Mark Rose, CEO of Fauna & Flora International said “This award puts the Great Sandy firmly on the global conservation map.”

“From Humpback whales to Cooloola monsters, the new Biosphere is a jewel in the crown of Australia’s natural wonders and Fauna & Flora International congratulates the team behind the bid.”


Biosphere reserves are sites recognised under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program that innovate and demonstrate approaches to conservation and sustainable development. They serve as ‘living laboratories’ for testing and demonstrating integrated management of land, water and biodiversity.