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Regional tourism and conservation groups form new alliance

A Memorandum of Understanding has been established between The Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA) and Nature Conservation Margaret River Region (Nature Conservation) with the aim of further protecting the natural environment of the Margaret River region.

The partnership between the two independent not-for-profit bodies will take effect on 1 July 2017 and establishes a framework for working together to strengthen the relationship between the environment and tourism, on which the long-term sustainability of the region’s tourism industry depends.

Key areas of focus at the heart of the agreement include the environmental management of MRBTA-managed cave and lighthouse precincts; raising community awareness and appreciation of the natural environment; strategies to raise support and funding for key environmental programs; eco tourism accreditation and encouraging responsible behaviours towards the natural environment.

Outcomes of the partnership will be achieved by working together with Wadandi Elders and are expected to impact the region on a number of levels. New projects and initiatives include encouraging visitors to make a voluntary contribution  to regional conservation, and investigating the potential for obtaining Geopark status for the Margaret River region.

MRBTA CEO Pip Close said the partnership marks a further commitment to the vision outlined in the region’s Nature-Based Tourism Strategy, unveiled in March of this year.

“When we laid out our intentions to establish the Margaret River region as the leading sustainable nature and adventure tourism destination in Australia, the emphasis was on achieving this through a collaborative, cross-region approach. We are therefore thrilled to be working in partnership with one of the region’s leading environmental groups.

The team at Nature Conservation possess a wealth of expertise in environmental management, and together we will be able to place the region’s natural environment needs front and centre in all of our actions and plans.”

The signing of the MOU follows the recent announcement by Nature Conservation of a new approach to protecting the region’s environment, with new branding, changes to the organisation’s constitution and a refreshed commitment to engaging the community in conservation matters.

Nature Conservation said the agreement reflected its increased emphasis on working in collaborative partnerships with other groups in the region to achieve effective and sustainable environmental outcomes.

“The regional environment is central to the continuing success of our fast-developing tourism industry as is reflected in MRBTA adopting a Nature-Based Tourism Strategy.

We at Nature Conservation look forward to working closely with our colleagues in the tourism industry to ensure the outstanding natural environment of the Margaret River region remains an asset that can be appreciated and enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.” said Dr Boyd Wykes, Chair of Nature Conservation.