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The Sunshine Coast Biosphere was designated in June 2022, internationally recognised as a member of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

While a Biosphere Reserve is non-statutory, meaning there is no legal requirement to change the way we live or do business, we have a responsibility to work towards creating a legacy for future generations. 

Objectives (functions)



A Sunshine Coast community that actively fosters and promotes sustainable practices, use and stewardship.

What does this look like?  

  • Encouraging sustainable choices and actions, in everything we do.  
  • Protecting, sharing and celebrating the cultural heritage of our communities.  
  • Improving connectedness within and between our ‘community of communities’.  
  • Celebrating and recognising our sustainability journey, acknowledging the contributions and inspiring ongoing action.  
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and becoming climate ready.



Conserving, maintaining, and enhancing our natural environment from the hinterland to the coast, and connecting people and nature.

What does this look like? 

  • Recognising, increasing understanding, strengthening and communicating the significance of the intrinsic and ecosystem service values of our diverse natural assets.
  • Enhancing the condition and capacity of the natural environment to continue to provide essential services.  
  • Maintaining and enhancing the extent of Regional Ecosystems that underpin our significant terrestrial, waterway, marine and coastal biological diversity.  
  • Facilitating opportunities for Indigenous leadership and knowledge sharing for improved conservation outcomes.  
  • Encouraging community connections with and stewardship of our land and sea scapes. 


Active conservation - Inspiring and celebrating creativity, innovation, research, and a learning community.



Demonstrating leadership in delivering a diverse and resilient economy.

What does this look like? 

  • Attracting high-value industries that strengthening the region’s economy and supporting our region’s sustainability journey. 
  • Encouraging responsible and sustainable development that contributes positively to our economy and community, while supporting affordable living outcomes.  
  • Promoting an integrated transport network that enhances connectivity, accessibility, economic performance and supports the retention and improvement of our region’s environment and liveability.  
  • Supporting and promoting sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries as important parts of a stronger and more resilient economy, and the character of the Sunshine Coast.  
  • Promoting sustainable nature-based and cultural tourism experiences that celebrate people, culture and nature.

Logistical support

Logistical support

Inspiring and celebrating creativity, innovation, research, and a learning community.

What does this look like? 

  • Maintaining a future focus, with a commitment to youth involvement and the continuous improvement around caring for the environment, creating thriving communities and growing local economies.  
  • Fostering a culture of collaboration between schools, academia, industry, business, community and government on issues and projects that enhance understanding, liveability, creativity, and sustainable outcomes.  
  • Demonstrating leadership in the development of local solutions to current and emerging sustainability challenges and opportunities and sharing them globally.  
  • Positioning the Sunshine Coast globally as a demonstration of excellence in balanced sustainability that actively contributes to strengthening the world network of biospheres. 

Map of our biosphere reserve

Situated in the sunning Sunshine Coast Local Government area, our biosphere reserve spans across the hinterland to the coast and out off the coast three nautical miles. Nestled within this beautiful landscape, our Biosphere encompasses diverse ecosystems.

Measuring our progress  

As part of our commitment as a biosphere reserve, we need to measure our sustainability progress. These measurements are to inform a periodic review after 10 years which is required by UNESCO, with a five-year interim assessment report proposed.    

Measuring our performance is critical to ensure we remain on track. By understanding our performance, we can collectively adapt and adjust management, actions and resources to improve sustainability in the region through implementation of our biosphere.

To assist in this measurement and reporting, a fit for purpose biosphere performance measurement framework has been developed.  The framework establishes our baseline performance measurements and will assist to:

  • determine the success of the biosphere in meeting its objectives and identified targets
  • monitor progress of the biosphere and sustainability indicators over time
  • demonstrate the benefits and identify opportunities and challenges.

The performance measurement framework was designed with consideration of the Sunshine Coast Biosphere aim and objectives and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Information and resources

Learn more about the global network of UNESCO biosphere reserves.