Western Port Biosphere Foundation

Western Port Biosphere

The Western Port Ramsar wetlands near Hastings is part of the United Nations (UNESCO) declared special biosphere reserve of the Western Port catchment and is one of only nine 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, a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

A biosphere reserve is a ‘living laboratory’ where models for balancing conservation and development can be tested. There are over 650 biosphere reserves in the world.

The reserve 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.

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

Western Port Biosphere Foundation

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 over 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.