Low Island consists of a small sandy cay with vegetation and a Commonwealth Heritage listed lighthouse. Low Isles and the surrounding Great Barrier Reef have been described as one of the most spectacular, complex, but fragile eco systems in the world. Operating in such a sensitive location can cause severe damage to the environmental quality, biodiversity and cultural heritage, if not controlled appropriately.
Low Isles and the surrounding area have proved how important stewardships with community, researchers and governmental organisations can be. To establish innovative approaches, different stakeholders have been working together for decades.
Tourism operators contribute to reef monitoring, coral restoration, adhere to responsible reef practices and deliver interpretive information to thousands of tourists. Read more on Douglas Shire Region’s Story.
Photo: Douglas Shire
Lorde Howe Island
Restoring Paradise – Predator Free Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is getting ready to celebrate the success of 40 years protecting its unique species by removing the last introduced feral mammal pests. In 1980 the conservation story began for Lord Howe Island. There is now a spectacular increase in all flora and fauna further enhancing Lord Howe Island as hotspot for biodiversity. The success of the restoration of Lord Howe Island will enhance its World Heritage values, and its reputation as a world leader for ecotourism. Continue reading about Lord Howe Island’s Story here
Photo: Lord Howe Island
Transforming an Industrial City – One Sustainable Story at a Time
Unlike other cities, Townsville isn’t telling anyone ‘what sustainability is’ and ‘how it is done’, rather it aims to communicate and implement sustainability differently and relevantly so that the community can ‘figure it out for themselves’ and ‘act in ways that matter to them’. Townsville, as a destination, is reducing the ‘flight, fright and fight’ reaction of the community by making sustainability easy to process and relevant to them. Townsville’s Citysolar (Design System for Change) is a whole-of-Community Collaborative framework for action, which begun in 2004. This framework for action introduced tools and processes for communicating in meaningful ways within the city which led to community collaboration and action. People creating their own preferred sustainable and resilient future. Read more about Townsville’s sustainability story.
Bay of Plenty
Te Hā Tāpoi – The Love of Tourism
Bay of Plenty’s ambitious aspirations are to flourish while balancing the needs of people, the environment, and the tourism industry. Their plan was created alongside the local community, local iwi (indigenous people) and the local tourism industry to be a guiding document that helps to contribute to a place that residents not only live but love. It means sharing our love of “our place” with the world to the betterment of the community, not against it.
Bay of Plenty understand that tourism is a key contributor to the region’s economy. Visitors spend and job creation is often the core focus for a destination. Bay of Plenty instead spread their vision of not just ensuring economic growth and not just sustainability; they go further and strive for regeneration.
The stars and night sky have a huge significance to the Niuean way of life. The knowledge of the night skies, held by the elders in the community, has been passed down through the generation. Niueans wanted to ensure a sustainable future for their skies through both protection of the important aerial wildlife species, preservation of cultural astrological stories for future generations and an opportunity for innovative employment through night sky tourism.
To become a Dark Sky Nation, Niue needed to ensure long term measures were put in place reducing light and air pollutants. Niue received Dark Sky Sanctuary and Dark Sky Community Status with the whole country protected through the International Dark Sky Association in March 2020. Culturally, the Dark Sky designation will also protect the Island’s heritage, enabling the timeless customs of stargazing, story-telling and navigating alive. Read more about the Dark Sky Nation.