Challenges & Achievements

The Western Port Biosphere faces several sustainable development challenges.

Human pressures on the biosphere reserve include:

Our Report Card provides a snapshot of how we are doing against environmental, social and economic indicators.

View Report Card

Since our designation in 2002 Western Port Biosphere Reserves has worked towards promoting our UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Our achievements have been the result of ongoing support from our five local governments, community and agency partners. A summary of our achievements to date includes:

YearProjects & MilestonesAdvocacyEvents
  • Designation by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve.
  • Foundation Incorporated.
  • R Gell appointed Chair.
  • Risstrom - Organisational Review conducted.
  • Foundation Member Port of Hastings Community Reference Group (CRG).
  • Watson Creek Agreement signed.
  • First forum on the Southern Brown Bandicoot in Victoria (50).
  • Watson Creek catchment management project starts with funding from Melbourne Water, Parks Vic and MP Shire.

  • Research Committee, CSIRO develop a comprehensive proposal to undertake a ‘mass balance’ study of the Biosphere.

  • Biosphere Website launched.

  • Eco Foot Print funding received.
  • Foundation hosted an ACT parliamentary committee to assist its inquiry into the proposed nomination of the ACT as a biosphere reserve.

  • Submissions to Vic Roads and SEITA on SBB in The Pines and Koo Wee Rup.
  • Frankston Roundtable with Frankston City Council and Western Port Greenhouse Alliance to hold a Climate Change forum (300).

  • Host “Western Port in 2025: Feeling the Heat” (150).
  • Publication of Report on SBB Bandicoot.

  • November 2006 Forum.

  • Enviro Fund 8 for SSB in The Pines.

  • Community Water Grants – Schools.

  • Move to Victoria Street, Hastings.

  • Submission on Green Paper “Land and biodiversity at a time of climate change”.

  • Submission to Planning Panel for the Frankston Bypass/Peninsula Link.

  • Hosted workshop on Land and Biodiversity at a time of Climate Change - Green Paper (80).

  • Participate in UNESCO conference on Impacts of Climate Change on Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves on Jeju Island Republic of South Korea.
  • Enviro Fund 9 funding SBB.

  • Launch Bandicoot Buddies campaign.

  • Caring for our Country Watson Creek.

  • WWF funding for SBB.

  • Develop alliances with Noosa and Great Sandy Biospheres, two new Australian Biospheres with establishment of AusMab.
  • Participate in 2nd UNESCO conference on Impacts of Climate Change on Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves on Jeju Island Republic South Korea.
  • Enviro Fund 10 Watson Creek.

  • Produce “Living with Sensitive Waterways” for Horticulture Aust.

  • N Whetenhall funding for SBB.
  • Participate in – a photographic exhibition in Noosa to promote Australian Biosphere Reserves.

  • Schools Environment Week.

  • Hold workshops promoting the Ramsar values of Western Port with secondary school students of the Watson Creek Catchment.

  • Conduct educational boat trip as part of Watson Creek catchment community engagement to Yaringa Marine National Park.

  • Southern Brown Bandicoot Regional Recovery Group Established.

  • Partner PPWCMA Ramsar Protection Program 2011-2013.

  • Partnership with the Central Coastal Board and others in Western Port Welcomes Warterbirds.

  • Successful in getting Caring for our Country, and Community Action Grant funding.
  • Representation to State Ministers re habitat protection and connectivity corridors for Southern Brown Bandicoot to ensure future longer term connectivity from RBG.
  • Southern Brown Bandicoot (SBB) Public Day held on 23 June 2011.

  • Prof Kate Auty guest speaker at Biosphere AGM and luncheon (80).

  • MP Shire Best Bites Program Launched.
  • Watson Creek Integrated Catchment Management wins Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence for Community Action and Partnerships.

  • Scoping project for City of Casey on Rutherford Inlet.

  • Community Action Grant SBB.

  • Successful - Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund for $2.267m (“Growing Connections”).
  • Signed the Victoria Declaration on the Implications for Cultural Sustainability of Climate Change.

  • Representation to Mornington Peninsula Shire requesting support of recognition of Tootgarook Wetlands under Convention of Migratory Species.

  • Representation to State Minister requesting update on Environmental Offset re East Link.

  • Co sign letter to Federal Minister on behalf of peak environment groups raising concerns about the EPBC Act.

  • AGM - Growing Connections for Sustainability (80) Guest speakers Prof Mick Keogh, Prof Simon Molesworth, AM, Dr Ian Manseragh.

  • Conducted first Biosphere Bird Search at Heronswood.

  • WPCC educational boat trip north arm of Western Port.

  • Enter into MoU with Western Port Catchment Committee (WPCC).

  • K Love & Assoc. Conducted Governance Review.

  • Communications Plan adopted.

  • Partner PPWCMA Ramsar Protection program 2013-2017.
  • Member Tootgarook Wetlands working Group.

  • Representation to Federal Minister regarding protection of Sandy Point.

  • Conduct Growing Connections Project.

  • Community Workshop (70) at Cardinia.

  • Research Committee Workshop (40) at Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne.

  • World Wetlands Day community day (Tootgarook Swamp).

  • WPCC educational trip to French Island.

  • Website update commissioned.

  • Recommendations of K Love & Assoc review adopted by board and membership.

  • Duncan Malcolm, AM, appointed as Chair replacing Rob Gell, AM.

  • Design and Publication of Annual Report.

  • Successful application to Helen Macpherson Smith Trust for funding of Western Port Water Stewardship Project.

  • Complete UNESCO 10 year Biosphere Reserve review.

  • Move to Salmon Street, Hastings.

  • Member PORTicipate environment reference group Port of Hasting Development Authority.

  • Representation made to State Ministers about the proposed Port of Hastings Expansion.

  • Sign joint statement by Australian Biospheres sent to Federal Minister for Environment.

  • Attend Scenario Planning workshop Phillip Island.

  • Conduct 2nd Growing Connections Project Community Workshop (60).

  • Participated in UNESCO Technical Meeting of Australian Biospheres and Representatives of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves in Noosa.
  • Growing Connections project distributed $208,224 for on ground works. Since 2012, Growing Connections project has overseen 668 hectares of habitat protection and 72.5 hectares of re-vegetation. 58,200 individual plants (128 different species) been planted.

  • Nine new contracts signed with community partners to care for and improve habitat within Biosphere Reserve.

  • Western Port Biosphere Draft Biodiversity Plan launched.

  • Launch of Pilot Report Card showcasing region’s efforts towards sustainable development.

  • Launch of new website.

  • Launch of Connector as E-newsletter.

  • Growing Connections Biodiversity Planning Forum (90). Forum Keynote by Dr Paul Carnell, Marine and Coastal Ecologist at Deakin University’s Centre for Integrative Ecology, with Water Stewardship Australia, Inghams Enterprises, Somerville Secondary College and Port Phillip and Westernport CMA hosted 9 member delegation from China..

  • WPCC community boat trip to southern Western Port, hosted by Phillip Island Nature Park.

  • Four new board members appointed. Skills-based Board in place.

  • Governance processes reviewed, Committees established: Governance Committee, Fundraising and Stakeholder Engagement, Science and Education, Projects Committee, Council Liaison Committee.

  • Strategy reviewed and updated.

  • Business Plan developed.

  • Western Port Biosphere Biodiversity Plan online launched.

  • Growing Connections project distributed $198,186 for on-ground works. Since 2012 Growing Connections project has overseen 901.33 hectares of habitat protection and 116.69 hectares of re-vegetation. 126,546 individual plants (over128 different species) planted.

  • Further nine contracts signed with community partners to care for and improve habitat within the Biosphere Reserve.

  • Higher visitation/use of Facebook page and increase in contributions to Connector E newsletter.

  • Signed up to Take2 Cllimate Change Pledge.
  • Annual Growing Connections Biodiversity Forum (80). Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Flinders MP Greg Hunt (then Environment Minister) spoke at the Forum. Key note speaker was Professor John Woinarski, Deputy Director of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub, National Environmental Science Program, Charles Darwin University.

  • Presentations on pest control and biodiversity activities made by representatives of councils and community groups.

  • With Water Stewardship Australia and Somerville Secondary College (SSC) held initial Skype session between students at SSC and Zhongce Vocation School, China.

  • Ramsar-funded boat trip to northern Western Port.

  • Participated in Science Week at Coolart Homestead.

  • WPCC held two Community Boat Trips to northern Western Port.

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