The Tasmanian Government welcomes the draft decision from the World Heritage Committee.
We will give very careful consideration to the points raised in the draft decision in relation to the State of Conservation Report on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) as we work through the process of finalising the new management plan for the Area.
The Tasmanian Government has written to the World Heritage Committee to invite the Committee’s technical advisers from ICOMOS and IUCN to come to Tasmania to visit the property and see firsthand the efforts being made to responsibly manage the Area and to provide input as we finalise the TWWHA management plan.
We are currently in the process of considering all of the public feedback received on the draft management plan in order to ensure that the final plan is consistent with Australia’s international obligations as well as the expectations of the broad Tasmanian community.
We are committed to working with the technical advisory bodies to the World Heritage Committee to ensure the TWWHA is managed in line with Australia’s obligations under the World Heritage Convention. This process has already commenced with direct engagement with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and further communications with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) scheduled for next week.
The Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments announced this week an additional $10.2 million for the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and rehabilitation of the World Heritage values of the property.
The funding, provided by the Commonwealth Government, will support the Tasmanian Government’s increased and ongoing management responsibilities in the areas added to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area in 2013.
This funding is in addition to the $3.4 million the Commonwealth Government already provides annually for management of the TWWHA, and in addition to the $13.6 million committed by the State Government over the course of the Forward Estimates.
Included in the funding is $575,000 to undertake further study and consultation with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, as indicated in the draft decision, in order to develop a more detailed understanding of the Aboriginal cultural heritage values of the property.
The further work on Aboriginal cultural heritage in the TWWHA will document both tangible and intangible Aboriginal cultural values in the World Heritage Area and will ensure the Aboriginal cultural values of the property are properly documented, that the threats are identified, and provide recommendations for their ongoing management.
The Tasmanian Government recognises the TWWHA as one of our most extraordinary cultural and natural assets and one which we have an obligation to protect, celebrate and share with the world.
In developing a new management plan for the Area the Tasmanian Government remains committed to ensuring that the Outstanding Universal Values of the property are being properly protected for the enjoyment of current and future generations of Tasmanians as well as people from all around the world.