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Fraser Island Queensland - World Heritage Area

Fraser Island attained its World Heritage Listing in December 1992 in recognition of the Fraser 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 (Queensland). The world heritage listing recognises Fraser Islands' combination of environments as having outstanding universal value, and, therfore its protection for future generations is 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 judged Fraser Island as eligible for listing as a natural site were as follows: Fraser Island 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 and features.

While the World Heritage Committee does not have the power to dictate how the listed Queensland site is managed, signatories to the convention such as Australia, have an obligation to observe the ethic of the heritage 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, sandminerals and fish. Logging and sand mining have ceased after many years of campaigning by local environmental groups.

The challenge for Fraser Island in the future will be in managing the growth in tourism in Queensland. 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 Island for future generations, however, belongs to all visitors in respecting the island's environments.

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