8 December, 2023

World Heritage sites focus of new book

THE second edition of an exquisite and significant book on Australia’s World Heritage sites by a well-known local professor has been launched by Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett.

Professor Peter Valentine shares his book with Jaqueline Reid, executive officer of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Professor Peter Valentine shares his book with Jaqueline Reid, executive officer of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

World Heritage Sites of Australia by James Cook University Adjunct Professor Peter Valentine features the 20 Australian sites recognised as being of World Heritage significance. The book features an introduction by former leader of The Greens, Bob Brown.

 “These are places that we can celebrate and enjoy and be proud to share with the rest of the world,” Professor Valentine said.

“It’s really significant we relaunched the book in Cairns, the only place in the world where two World Heritage sites lie side by side and are so interdependent. 

“The Wet Tropics rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef are arguably two of the most precious World Heritage sites on the planet.”

Professor Valentine has substantially updated the previous edition of the book, with new photos and enlarged sections on Indigenous cultural values and First Nations Peoples increasing role managing World Heritage properties.

“First Nations Peoples are increasingly playing a role in managing and caring for World Heritage sites in Australia, and this includes the central role that Indigenous land and sea ranger groups have in patrolling, managing and conserving the unique values of our World Heritage sites,” Prof Valentine said. 

“The book celebrates this contribution.

“It’s also gratifying to know that Australia’s newest World Heritage site, Budj Bim in Gunditjmara Country in Victoria, was originally discussed for World Heritage listing in Cairns 10 years ago.”

Professor Valentine said the release of the book’s second edition was timely, because World Heritage sites are facing unprecedented pressures from climate change and other threats.

“Recognising and appreciating the special nature of these places is the first step to safeguarding them for the future,” he said.

“We all have a part to play, whether it be spreading the message about these wonderful sites, planting trees in your local community, shifting our consumption patterns to reduce our carbon footprints, or demanding climate action from corporations and governments.

“The warning bells are sounding and concerted action from everyone is now required.”


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