National park earns international recognition
Thursday 26 August, 2021
Warby-Ovens National Park near Wangaratta in Victoria’s north east, has become the first site in Victoria to be admitted to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas.
Located between the Victorian Alps and Murray Valley on Yorta Yorta Country, Warby-Ovens National Park protects three distinct landscapes - the granite hills and woodlands of the Warby Range, the Box‐Ironbark Forest of Killawarra, and the River Red Gum forests and wetlands of the heritage-listed lower Ovens River.
These provide a sanctuary for native plants and animals like the migratory Swift Parrot and the endangered Carpet Python. The national park is a haven for nature lovers and offers a wide range of recreational, educational and social opportunities including bushwalking, birdwatching, cycling, camping and canoeing.
The stunning view from Warby Tower Lookout in Warby-Ovens National Park Credit: Parks Victoria
The national park was added to the Green List because of its outstanding natural values, including some of the best examples Box-Ironbark Forest and Riverine Forest and Woodlands in Victoria; world-class governance with input from Traditional Owners; contributions from an engaged local community; improved 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 recognising 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.
Lace monitors are just one of the native animals that call Warby-Ovens National Park home. Credit: Parks Victoria
“For Parks Victoria, this accreditation recognises and acknowledges the commitment and passion our staff have for managing and protecting park values,” Jessica Reid, Area Chief Ranger, says.
“Green Listing has provided the opportunity to develop a monitoring program for biological values and increased the focus on management of the park. Our hope is that Green List accreditation will spark increased interest from the community and give us the opportunity to promote the importance of protecting the park values.”
Pine Gully in Warby-Ovens National Park. Credit: Parks Victoria
Kelly Raymond, Program Leader Parks Evaluation, led the two and a half year-long nomination process, which included an assessment of Parks Victoria’s submission by an independent panel of experts. The panel also conducted a site visit with park managers as well as consulted with the Yorta Yorta People and community on Parks Victoria’s management of the area.
“I’m really proud that Warby-Ovens National Park is now recognised among the best managed parks in the world. This is a huge achievement that wouldn’t have been possible without the enthusiastic support of all involved. It firmly puts Warby-Ovens National Park on a national and international stage” explains Kelly.
Sites on the IUCN Green List have demonstrated excellence based on a rigorous assessment against the IUCN Green List Standard of 17 criteria covering good governance, sound design and planning, effective management as well as successful conservation outcomes.
For more information on the IUCN Green List, visit https://iucngreenlist.org/