Western Port Biosphere Foundation

Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Biosphere Reserve

The Western Port Ramsar wetlands are the primary reason why the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) declared the Western Port catchment as one of only four active biospheres in Australia. 

In 2002, the United Nations proclaimed the Western Port region, including the bay at Western Port, its islands and the surrounding five local government areas, as a UNESCO biosphere reserve within the global 'Man and the Biosphere' program.

A biosphere reserve is a ‘living laboratory’ where models for balancing conservation and development can be tested. There are currently 701 biosphere reserves in the world.

The Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Biosphere Reserve is overseen by the Western Port Biosphere Foundation.

It has a combined area of 2,142 square kilometres and is made up of a mix of landscapes, including national and marine parks, rural agriculture and urban-growth areas.

Latest news

1 April 2022
Western Port and Port Phillip Bay can play major role in achieving net zero carbon(PDF, 79KB)

Find out more: Biosphere Foundation Blue Carbon Mapping Project

Western Port Biosphere Foundation

12 November 2021
Five local councils renew support for UNESCO Western Port Biosphere Reserve.
Read Western Port Biosphere's media release(PDF, 106KB).

Mornington Peninsula Shire is proud to be part of the Western Port Biosphere Foundation and annually commits over $20,000 to the Foundation. Along with the Shire, the following councils fund the Foundation:

  • Frankston City Council
  • City of Casey
  • Cardinia Shire Council
  • Bass Coast Shire Council

The Western Port Biosphere Foundation carries out projects to test ways of balancing conservation with development. Mornington Peninsula Shire has liaised with the Foundation on the following initiatives:

  • Identifying locations and targets for the Foundation’s headline Water Stewardship program
  • Supporting the RAMSAR protection works for Western Port bay
  • Providing advice on feral animal management including the Foundation’s current fox monitoring and control project
  • Implementing the Shire’s draft Biodiversity Conservation plan

For more information regarding the Western Port Biosphere, visit the Western Port Biosphere website.