Framework for the identification of linked cultural and biophysical indicators for the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area
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AbstractThe Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) in Far North Queensland is one of the world's hotspots of rainforest biodiversity and is an area rich in cultural heritage, with surrounding landscapes important nationally for agriculture and tourism. Like many globally important UNESCO sites, the area is currently experiencing unprecedented rates of population growth and urbanisation hence efficient and effective management action is required to maintain the area's ecological, cultural and economic values. One of the aims of the Commonwealth Government funded Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility, is to develop a monitoring programme for biodiversity which will include critical indicators of ecosystem health and thresholds of concern to trigger management action. However, a major scientific challenge remains to identify critical indicators and thresholds of concern for the cultural status of both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous local human communities, who inherently form a part of the ecosystem. An additional challenge lies in linking these cultural indicators to ecosystem health. This paper outlines a framework of cooperative research for the generation of a series of linked biophysical and cultural indicators to facilitate the development of effective cooperative Natural Resource Management. Once composed, it is considered that the framework and a consequent monitoring protocol will be appropriate for use within the WTWHA and will be applicable to other protected areas worldwide.
Cullen, Leanne Claire, Butler, James R.A., Hill, Rosemary, and Margules, Chris R. (2008) Framework for the identification of linked cultural and biophysical indicators for the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, 4 (2). pp. 37-46.