It brings the opportunity to become involved in its management and to reflect on lifestyle choices that degrade and enhance the World Heritage Area and its neighbouring environs.
Caring for the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area as a local ambassador is an important role in the World Heritage community. The Wet Tropics Management Authority (Wet Tropics) believe informed and supportive landholders and neighbours greatly enhance the management of the World Heritage Area. The statutory control of the Wet Tropics does not extend outside the World Heritage Area boundary, so a cooperative partnership with neighbours is vital.
The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area includes about 115 freehold blocks or parts thereof (2 per cent of the World Heritage Area) and over 100 leases (10 per cent of the World Heritage Area). The large percentage of area under leases is due to some large grazing leases. There are more than 2,500 individual blocks of land neighbouring the World Heritage Area’s 3,000 kilometre boundary, and many more in the catchment areas. Neighbouring land is managed for a multitude of purposes including conservation, timber production, grazing, sugar cane and other agriculture, beekeeping, tourism and private residences.
The World Heritage Area’s largest neighbour is the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area which abuts the east coast. The common boundaries of these two outstanding World Heritage Areas make this area unique. However, management of coastal fauna and flora is affected by run off from river systems which pass through the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
Many World Heritage Area landholders make a significant contribution to its management, actively managing their holdings to compliment the natural values that surround them. These individuals not only enrich their own environment but also contribute to improving the connectivity and integrity of the World Heritage Area. Neighbouring landholders also play a particularly important role in conserving the World Heritage Area. Many of the major threats to World Heritage values occur along the extensive boundaries of the World Heritage Area.
The assistance of landholders and neighbours is vital for the retention and rehabilitation of habitat and wildlife corridors, fire management, weed and feral animal control, and care of water quality and flows - all of which can also benefit landholders. In particular, landholders in and around the World Heritage Area are encouraged to monitor weeds and pests that may establish on their properties and which also pose a threat to developing incursions into the World Heritage Area. The policy of Wet Tropics is to be a good neighbour and work constructively towards addressing these issues. Wet Tropics also works in partnership with other agencies in supporting landholders and neighbours.