When the Greater Blue Mountains Area was being nominated for World Heritage, geodiversity, cultural values and aesthetic beauty were all considered, along with biodiversity. The area was nominated for the lot, except geodiversity, because geological understanding was considered inadequate, at that stage, to support a successful case.
The area was ultimately accepted for World Heritage in 2000, on biodiversity grounds alone. It was early days for the ‘cultural landscape’ argument, which was poorly understood by the assessors, and maybe the Blue Mountains just wasn’t proven to be beautiful ‘enough’ to get over that particular line (I’m doing my best to try and fix that one).
A lot has happened over the past 15 years. Knowledge has advanced in many areas and community views have also progressed. So it was that the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Advisory Committee (community representatives who advise on management) decided to prepare and publish a group of papers arguing that the Blue Mountains deserves World Heritage on a number of additional grounds.
I was privileged to be asked to supply images for the publication (see two below). The booklet also argues for extra areas to be added to the World Heritage Area, including the magnificent Gardens of Stone Stage Two.
Values for A New Generation (see cover below) is an essential reference for anyone interested in the Blue Mountains. It can be downloaded as a free PDF here: