Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

//Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

Protecting values & integrity

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) includes the state’s four largest national parks and several other land tenures. It encompasses 1.6 million hectares of Tasmanian’s southwest and central highlands (almost 25% of Tasmania).

Its World Heritage status implies the highest possible level of protection but pro-development governments and a regressive 2016 management plan mean threats to the area’s integrity and wild character persist.

Management prior to 2016 was not without its problems either, and there have been a range of issues related to assessments of values and monitoring.

The Pelion Plains in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Part of the iconic Overland Track. Photo: Grant Dixon

The Pelion Plains in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Part of the iconic Overland Track. Photo: Grant Dixon

Management & values

  • Arthur Range, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Photo: Grant Dixon

TWWHA management prior to Dec 2016

The 1999 TWWHA Management Plan was not perfect but a good compromise. The 2014 draft management plan was extremely regressive and more than 7000 public submissions opposed many of its core proposals.

  • Highland rainforest stream, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Photo: Grant Dixon.

TWWHA values, boundary & monitoring

There has been considerable documentation of World Heritage and other values but monitoring of their condition is inadequate and a TWWHA boundary that both includes all important values and facilitates effective management of these has yet to be achieved.

  • Ketchum Bay, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Photo: Grant Dixon

TWWHA management since 2016

The final Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan, released in December 2016, still contains many failings and deficiencies and we envisage ongoing campaigns to protect the area's values and integrity as a result.

“… the Southwest Tasmanian wilderness is exceptional in size, quality and diversity in the Australian context and in the temperate regions of the world. As such it is of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science and conservation. The specific features of world heritage value which it contains only serve to enhance its value as an item of world heritage.”

PETER HITCHCOCK, COMMISSIONER, COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO THE LEMONTHYME AND SOUTHERN FORESTS, 1988
2017-11-08T02:17:16+00:00 August 24th, 2017|
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