Biosphere blazes a trail for eco-tourism
Despite the challenges of 2020, the Noosa Trail master plan has been delivered paving the way the way for a network of eight hinterland eco-tourism experiences expected to boost the local economy and enhance community wellbeing.
Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation chair Rex Halverson has highlighted completion of this initiative partnering with Tourism Noosa, Noosa Council and Noosa and District Landcare as a major highlight in his annual report delivered yesterday.
Mr Halverson said a more challenging start to his term could not have been imagined.
“First the fire emergencies and then COVID-19, which impacted every aspect of ours and our project partners’ lives and activities,” Mr Halverson said.
He also cited Noosa’s Oyster Reef Restoration Trial and the Keep on Keeping It In Kin Kin Phase 2 as major milestones for the year.
The Noosa Trail network passes through diverse areas within the Noosa Biosphere Reserve including national park, state forest, private property, council parks and road reserves.
NBRF is keen to protect the integrity of the trail while supporting and managing the sustainable use of the network and surrounding areas and stakeholder engagement has already commenced with bike clubs, commercial operators, Queenlsand Parks and Wildlife Service as well as council and community groups.
The plan includes case studies, funding models, infrastructure requirements, economics and the creation of sustainable jobs as well as education information.
Mr Halverson said the master plan, the oyster trial and the Kin Kin river run-off mitigation programs have attracted significant additional state and federal funding to deliver an even greater return on the NBRF’s initial investment.”
“We helped launch exciting new programs including the Noosa Environmental Education Hub which is already delivering great outcomes for our local schools,” he said.
“Since the foundation’s inception five years ago, the NBRF has sponsored 18 conservation and socio-economic projects valued at over $3.2 million, delivering a 3:1 return on an investment of around $1 million from the Noosa Council environment levy fund.
“In this year’s annual report we’ve demonstrated the significant value our projects and effort have delivered to ensure tangible and long-term outcomes for our community and the environment,” Mr Halverson said.
He thanked council and the community for their continued support of the Noosa Biosphere and the foundation.
“I also thank my fellow board members who volunteer a significant amount of their time and expertise to the Noosa region,” the chair said.