Parks Australia


Parks Australia

Wilsons Promintory National Park

Australia's Biosphere Reserves

Map of reserves in Australia | Reserves in Australia | Man and the Biosphere Program website


What is a Biosphere Reserve?

A biosphere reserve is a unique concept which includes one or more protected areas and surrounding lands that are managed to combine both conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.


International Significance

'Biosphere Reserve' is an international designation made by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on the basis of nominations submitted by countries participating in the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB).

MAB was launched in 1971 to catalyse a greater understanding and provision of knowledge and skills to support sustainable relationships between people and their environment. Biosphere Reserves act as a keystone of MAB by providing a global network of sites for cooperative research toward this end. They also aim to demonstrate the sustainable use goals of the World Conservation Strategy.


Biosphere Reserves in Australia

Australia currently has 14 Biosphere Reserves:


The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - Focal Point

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) includes provisions for the development of cooperative arrangements between the Commonwealth, states and territories in the development of biosphere reserves. The Department through Parks Australia acts as the national focal point for biosphere reserves in Australia while the Australian National Commission for UNESCO has overall responsibility for UNESCO activities in Australia.

The Director of National Parks is responsible for the management of two areas with Biosphere Reserve status: Calperum and Taylorville Stations, areas of open mallee bushland and Murray River floodplain which form part of the Riverland Biosphere Reserve, near Renmark in South Australia and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.