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The Flinders Ranges World Heritage story

Over 600 million years old, the Flinders Ranges is one of Australia’s magnificent landscapes. The Adnyamathanha People (meaning hills or rock people) are the traditional custodians of this diverse landscape, which is world-renowned for its wealth of natural, cultural significance, historic and scenic values.

Particularly extraordinary are the fossils and geology of the Flinders Ranges, which display the history of our planet and the evolution of life on Earth. Some of this critical evidence spans more than 300 million years and includes the world’s finest example of the Ediacaran explosion of life, when the earliest forms of complex multicellular animal life evolved. It is these outstanding geological and palaeontological forms within the Flinders Ranges that make it an important site to pursue for World Heritage Listing.

Scientific experts have agreed that the science stands up. The Flinders Ranges is the only place on Earth where 350 million years of near-continuous geological sequence can be seen, demonstrating the rise of a habitable planet and the dawn of animal life.

There is nowhere else in the world where this is so clear, so connected and so well presented. The outstanding World Heritage values are all laid out to see as you drive around the Flinders Ranges.

Seven properties have been identified by experts that demonstrate the technical and scientific evidence required to support this narrative. These aren’t the only sites in the Flinders Ranges that have unique geological and paleontological values, they contain outstanding values of potential World Heritage quality. Most importantly, they are the places that when brought together complete the unique Flinders Ranges World Heritage story.

Achieving World Heritage status requires that a property is aligned with very specific criteria, and strong evidence that the values being nominated are absolutely unique/not replicated anywhere else in the world. Pursuing World Heritage status in line with these specific criteria in no way diminishes the plethora of wonderful cultural, environmental and social assets of the Flinders Ranges – it will provide an opportunity to celebrate and share them on a global scale.

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