Thursday, September 15, 2011

Australia Adds New Heritage Region Humpback breaches at Kimberly Coast
Australia has added the remote and beautiful Kimberley coast country to its list of national heritage sites.  West Kimberley is recognized as a unique region because of its rare wildlife, scenic land formations, and aboriginal and immigrant heritage. The coastline is one of the last relatively unspoiled marine environments in the world along with Antarctica. The world's largest population of humpback whales give birth to their young along the wild Kimberley coast after migrating from their Antarctic feeding grounds. The designation does not prevent development in the region, and there are plans to exploit rich mineral deposits such as iron ore, bauxite, uranium and coal, as well as process natural gas. The coastal environment is still recovering from a major offshore oil spill in 2009{"Timor Sea"}. Designation of the Kimberley is the largest land heritage site made by the Australian government, and the first made with Traditional Owners' (aboriginal) consent.