South Australia has taken a significant step in gaining World Heritage status for parts of the Flinders Ranges after the nomination was placed on Australia’s Tentative List for World Heritage.
The Tentative Listing means the Flinders Ranges are a step closer to joining an illustrious club across the world which includes places such as Yosemite National Park, Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands. World Heritage sites are unique and exceptional places around the world that are considered to have either natural and/or cultural values that are internationally important.
It’s an important milestone in recognising a truly unique part of the world that is also home to one of Australia’s most magnificent landscapes.
The Flinders Ranges is a key historical, environmental and tourist destination with people travelling from all around the world to visit.
The nomination will recognise that Flinders Ranges is the best place in the world that documents the rise of animal life and Environment Institute member, A/Professor Diego Garcia-Bellido‘s early Cambrian research has been referred to in the listing.
No other site can directly link the interaction between changing climates and environments with the evolution of animal life, for such a continuous period.
At sites within the Flinders Ranges, such as Nilpena, researchers have been able to excavate fossil beds that preserve undisturbed snapshots of the seafloor as animal life unfolded some 550 million years ago. There is no other place in the world where this has been done for fossils of any age.
The South Australian Government are committed to working with the Flinders Ranges community on the nomination to realise the benefits of World Heritage, including working with the Adnyamathanha People to ensure their culture is fully respected in the nomination.
The Tentative Listing also provides significant recognition for the state’s national parks, with Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park and Ediacara Conservation Park, as well as the land acquired on Nilpena Station which will create the Nilpena Ediacara National Park, at the centre of the South Australian Government’s pursuit of World Heritage listing for the Flinders Ranges.
World Heritage listing is coordinated by UNESCO through the World Heritage Centre, with independent evaluations and recommendations to the World Heritage Committee about whether a nomination should be included on the World Heritage List.
The State Government will now prepare a full nomination to submitted during the next two years.
SA has one World Heritage listed site at Naracoorte Caves which it shares with Riversleigh in Queensland.
Original article featured at DEW.