Sunday, May 26, 2024

Sunshine Coast wins global environment designation

The Sunshine Coast has been officially recognised internationally as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The region now proudly stands as an international site of excellence and an area of natural beauty.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the recognition was a truly historic moment for the Sunshine Coast.

“I am very proud to live and work in a region that has now become a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, as we continue to celebrate people and nature,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“After years in the making, this prestigious designation will help us protect and enhance our region, communities, economy and our natural environment for future generations.

“Becoming a biosphere supports council and the community’s clear plan and vision for the future of the Sunshine Coast.

“Committing to being a biosphere ensures people on the Sunshine Coast can be confident their council and their broader community respect the environment and understand their place living within it.”

He said a biosphere designation shows the world that the Sunshine Coast is a community that wants to live in harmony with the environment and recognises the need for responsible development to cater for the people choosing to live there while also recognising the importance of preserving our natural environment.

Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor, Maria Suarez said joining the network of UNSECO Biosphere reserves was a significant achievement.

“This designation supports our commitment to remain future focused and how each of us can contribute to a sustainable region as we live, work and play on the Sunshine Coast,” Cr Suarez said.

“Being a biosphere also has a range of benefits, particularly for our tourism and agriculture industries as our biosphere designation could support a sustainable ‘Produced on the Sunshine Coast’ brand which increases the value of products and services.

“With this designation, our region has the potential to become a magnet for others from around the world who want to buy from and visit a region that focuses on sustainability.

“This is the culmination of years of work and preparation and I’d like to thank the Community Reference Group and the wider community for partnering with council in this process.”

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Biosphere Community Reference Group (CRG) Chair, Will Shrapnel said the group had informed and shaped what a biosphere designation would mean for the community through the nomination process, and the work would continue as the project now moved into the implementation phase.

“This is just the start of the journey,” Mr Shrapnel said.

“As a council and a community, now we start the process of evolving and applying what it means for us to be a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

“With this official designation, nothing changes overnight in terms of how we go about our daily lives, however it provides great clarity around what our future looks like as a region with sustainability as a fundamental consideration in the choices we make going forward.

“So many of us have chosen to live on the Sunshine Coast for its natural beauty and lifestyle and this designation helps us clarify how we value as a community and how council can support us in protecting and enhancing what we have now for the benefit of future generations.”

To learn more, search “biosphere” on council’s website or visit the Sunshine Coast Biosphere webpage.

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