Conservation groups back Cape York World Heritage nomination

Conservation groups have strongly welcomed the nomination of Cape York Peninsula for the Tentative List for World Heritage by Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek.

Nominating Cape York for the tentative list is the first step towards the region’s full recognition on the UNESCO World Heritage list, alongside Australian icons like Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the Great Barrier Reef. 


QCC Director Dave Copeman said:

“Cape York is stunningly beautiful, environmentally precious beyond words. Its natural and cultural values are both something that we must look after for future generations. 

“We strongly support the principle that any World Heritage nomination must start with, come from and be in line with the aspirations of Cape York’s First Nations people. Subsequent engagement must genuinely give effect to the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent.

“All Queenslanders can be proud of this nomination. It’s us saying to the world we love this area, and we pledge to be stewards of it for all humanity.  

“Country and people are intrinsically linked, and this connection is alive and powerful in the Cape. This should be a nomination for both environmental and cultural values, and for the interwoven nature of these elements as a cultural landscape. 

QCC Protect Country Strategist Paul Spearim said: 

“I welcome the leadership that Cape York Traditional Owners have played in nominating the areas that they want to see protected and recognised by the world.

“Both the Queensland and Federal Government deserve recognition for learning from the past, and how they have gone about this nomination process in starting with the Traditional Owners. 

“I feel that the tentative nomination of the Cape York Peninsula, listing for World Heritage, is a positive step towards a far-reaching recognition for all First Nations Peoples and communities' ongoing cultural, spiritual connection to their homelands."

Image credit: Cape York Beach by Justin McCaul, available at under CC BY-NC 2.0