Warby-Ovens National Park, near Wangaratta in northeast Victoria, became the first site in Victoria to be admitted to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas (IUCN).
Located between the Victorian Alps and the Murray Valley in the country of Yorta Yorta, Warby-Ovens National Park protects three distinct landscapes: the granite hills and forests of the Warby Range, the Box-Ironbark forest of Killawarra and the forests and wetlands of the Red Gum River. the lower course of the Ovens river, classified as heritage.
These provide a sanctuary for native plants and animals like the fast migrating parrot and the endangered carpet python. The national park is a nature lover’s paradise and offers a wide range of recreational, educational and social opportunities, including bush walking, bird watching, cycling, camping and canoeing.
The area was added to the Green List due to its outstanding natural values, including some of the best examples of Box-Ironbark Forest and Victoria Riparian Forest and Woodlands; world-class governance with the contribution of traditional owners; contributions from an engaged local community; better understanding and knowledge through citizen science; and conservation programs that keep the park healthy.
The IUCN Green List is the global standard for nature conservation recognizing the best managed sites on the planet. Warby-Ovens National Park is only the fourth site in Australia to be admitted to the IUCN Green List.
Parks Victoria Chief Ranger Jessica Reid said “For Parks Victoria, this accreditation recognizes and recognizes the commitment and passion of our staff to the management and protection of park values.
“Being on the green list has enabled the development of a monitoring program for biological values and increased emphasis on park management. We hope that Green List accreditation will generate increased community interest and give us the opportunity to promote the importance of protecting the values of the park.
Kelly Raymond, Parks Victoria Parks Evaluation Program Manager, led the two-and-a-half-year nomination process, which included an evaluation of Parks Victoria’s submission by a panel of independent experts. The panel also conducted a site visit with park managers and consulted with the Yorta Yorta people and the community on the management of the area by Parks Victoria.
Raymond added, “I am truly proud that Warby-Ovens National Park is now recognized as one of the best managed parks in the world. This is a huge achievement that would not have been possible without the enthusiastic support of everyone involved. It firmly places Warby-Ovens National Park on a national and international stage.
IUCN Green List sites have demonstrated excellence based on a rigorous assessment against the IUCN Green List standard of 17 criteria covering good governance, design and planning sound, effective management as well as successful conservation results.
Click here for more information on the IUCN Green List.
Images: View of Lookout Spur at Warby Ovens National Park (top), a lace monitor at Warby Ovens National Park (middle), and a view of Pine Gully in Warby Ovens National Park (bottom). Credit: Victoria Parks
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