Environment SA News

Further support to secure our Ediacaran fossil heritage

A further commitment to protect South Australia’s Ediacaran fossils has now been ‘set in stone’ with the signing of a new agreement.

Further support to secure our Ediacaran fossil heritage

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs and the Chair of the Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation Mary Lou Simpson signed the new agreement at the Ediacara Gallery of the South Australian Museum recently.

The agreement will support the ongoing protection and management of the Ediacaran fossils at the newly proclaimed Nilpena Ediacara National Park in the Flinders Ranges. Key to the agreement’s success will be philanthropic support for ongoing development, research, tourism and education at the new Nilpena Ediacara National Park.

Scheduled to open in 2022, the park is home to the world’s best example of the Ediacaran explosion of animal life, when the earliest forms of complex multicellular life evolved.

The site is critical to the proposed nomination of the Flinders Ranges for World Heritage Listing for its unparalleled story of the dawn of animal life on Earth.

The works being done will turn this new national park into a ‘must-see’ destination for tourists, researchers and educators alike, attracting visitors from all over Australia and from across the world, when international travel resumes.

The additions to this agreement will further protect these globally significant fossils and build upon the South Australian Government’s record investment in our national parks to improve conservation, boost nature-based tourism and create jobs across the state.

The Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation is a non-profit organisation conserving South Australia’s Ediacaran fossils and sharing their significance with the world. The South Australian Government have partnered with them for the purchase of Nilpena, which their donors have generously supported.

The foundation will be an ongoing partner with government to support the conservation, research and public awareness of the fossils at Nilpena, and elsewhere in the Flinders Ranges. The foundation’s first priority has been supporting our work in creating an exciting visitor and research precinct.

Chair of the Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation Mary Lou Simpson said the Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation is proud to be in partnership with the South Australian Government.

“Our partnership will help to conserve the globally significant Ediacaran fossils in perpetuity and ensure the knowledge they embody is spread widely to visitors, school children and the community,” she said.

“Together, we are creating a long term asset for all South Australians.

“To learn more and become involved in this partnership, we encourage you to get in touch and visit the foundation's website.”

Works are currently underway at Nilpena Ediacara National Park, which are being delivered by the South Australian Government with funding support from the Australian Government and the Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation.

Nilpena Ediacara National Park is currently closed to the public while work on the new visitor and research precinct and fossil site is completed. Once open, visitors will be required to take an organised guided tour to gain access to ensure the fossils are protected.

The park is located on the traditional lands of the Adnyamathanha people on the western fringes of the Flinders Ranges.

Find out more www.parks.sa.gov.au/park-management/nilpena-ediacara or visit www.ediacarafoundation.org