What we fall in love with and cherish we care for and nurture. Communities, organisations and individuals all contribute collectively to care for the very values that the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is recognised for. Caring for and celebrating these values has taken on many different forms since the listing of the World Heritage Area in 1988.
Volunteer organisations, not for profit organisations and government agencies either individually or collaboratively work towards the goal of maintaining the health of this living landscape. Projects such as Caring for our Country provide people power in building corridors within the Wet Tropics landscape to ensure vegetated areas are connected. Not only does this provide a lifeline to animals needing to move across the World Heritage Area, it also builds resilience to global environmental threats such as climate change. Activities to protect individual species that are threatened by human activity and natural disasters such as cyclones are also dependent on people being passionate and concerned about the long term survival of the World Heritage Area’s unique species.
High on the carer’s radar are the biosecurity threats in and around this largely pristine wilderness. Communities have a central role to play in ensuring that pests and diseases are controlled and prevented from spreading into the World Heritage Area. Communities working with government agencies to monitor pests such as tramp ants and myrtle rust will help keep our beautiful World Heritage Area free from degeneration.
What animal evokes the passions like no other than the cassowary. Cassowary conservation involves the collaborative efforts of local communities as well as the individual commitment by all who are fortunate enough to encounter a cassowary. The Wet Tropics Management Authority's Cassowary Awards were named after this iconic species, recognising its place in the hearts and minds of communities around the World Heritage Area.
Today the contributions of those who actively participate in the wellbeing of the World Heritage Area, are recognised and celebrated in the annual Cassowary Awards. Caring for our Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is the responsibility of every individual in some way or another. Making it part of everyday life is an admirable step towards being a steward for the World Heritage Area.
Expressing the values of our World Heritage Area and what role they play in our lives can be done at any age. Every year the Keep it Wild Poster competition held by the Wet Tropics Management Authority encourages primary school children to convey to the world key messages that are important in maintaining the health of our rainforests and reef. Contributions, effort and artistic expressions are recognised and rewarded by the Wet Tropics Management Authority and the event’s sponsors.
The World Heritage Area is a store house of knowledge and there are still a lot of unknowns. Understanding its many facets and hidden secrets can only lead to the wider wonderment of its ancients landscapes, incredible panorama and diversity of species. Ensuring knowledge about the World Heritage Area is accessible enables the broader national and international community to become the global family that embrace this truly amazing landscape.
The Wet Tropics Management Authority is ensuring tour operators are able to access quality information and can network and support each other as they endeavour to spread the World Heritage Area experience outwards. Wet Tropics is also working with Tourism Australia and Parks Australia in promoting the World Heritage Area as a national landscape; a landscape worth caring about and worth visiting.
Not only do people feel good when caring for the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. By also understanding and sharing its universal value, we are bound to find a little something out about ourselves.