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Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

In December 1982, the World Heritage Committee met at UNESCO headquarters in Paris to consider a number of sites for World Heritage listing, including the Western Tasmanian Wilderness National Parks.

The committee agreed to enter this area into the World Heritage list for its significant natural and cultural values.

In 1989 it was greatly expanded to cover almost 20 per cent of Tasmania.

The area received world heritage listing because it conserves a diverse array of both natural and cultural features of outstanding global significance.

The region provides pristine habitats for a range of plants and animals that are found nowhere else in the world, including many rare and endangered species, while indigenous rock art and artefacts found in caves date back to the last Ice Age.

The area also offers the most pristine example of temperate rainforest found in Australia and makes up one of only three remaining temperate wilderness areas in the southern hemisphere.

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is a legacy of the last great wildernesses on earth, and a canvas rich in the stories of humanity's previous and current connections with the environment.

The 1.4 million hectares that now make up the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area are part of a chain of six national parks and a number of reserves and conservation areas that together cover one fifth of Tasmania's land mass.

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area consists of the following areas:

Also included are three freehold areas: 'Gordonvale' in the Vale of Rasselas; Central Plateau (approximately five blocks); and Lake Murchison.