Skip to main content


The initiatives designed to engage visitors with Wadjemup’s unique environment.

The environmental initiatives in place to manage Wadjemup / Rottnest Island as a Class A Reserve

With its range of unique ecosystems, including woodlands, salt lakes, and WA’s southern-most coral reef, Wadjemup is a haven for nature enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of outdoor tourism experiences.

To manage this rich environment and better enable visitors to engage with the natural attributes of the island, Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) is focussing on a range of forward-thinking strategies. Strategies like investing in renewable energy, seeking funding for the Wadjemup Conservation Centre, and undertaking island revegetation.

Rottnest Island Nursery
Rottnest Island Nursery

Five key environmental initiatives

The Rottnest Island Management Plan (RIMP) 2023–28 outlines the key environmental strategies and initiatives  to manage the island’s spectacular and unique ecosystems. The key initiatives under the RIMP emphasise sustainable tourism, renewable energy projects, and environmental management strategies that are aimed at engaging day visitors and overnight holidaymakers to enjoy and respect the island’s natural assets. 


Key initiatives

Management of the Rottnest Island reserve is critical for maintaining a healthy environment and ensuring ecosystem function today and in the future.

As such, RIA focuses on the active management of priority island species and natural communities to maintain the health of the island’s biodiversity. An environmental monitoring regime is in place, and scientific data is reviewed every three years, which ensures programs are providing useful information to inform management decisions.

RIA will continue to educate visitors to the island on key environmental management strategies. In the background, a key focus will be to rehabilitate the island’s reserve woodlands and coastal environment, identify areas of future erosion as a result of sea level changes and weather events, and implement environmental mitigation strategies through adaptive management actions.

Key outcomes

  • Manage and restore the island's marine and terrestrial reserves
  • Manage potential human impacts on Rottnest Island’s flora and fauna
  • Provide sustainable opportunities for visitor engagement with the natural environment

Woodland revegetation provides native animal habitat and food sources to protect local and regional conservation values and helps to provide much of the island’s natural recreational amenity.

Another key focus for the current RIMP is to restore the island’s coastal environments at key bay locations. RIA is working with partners to stabilise the fragile coastline that has been impacted by climate events, and degraded by use. This will help to enhance the visitor experience, and also protect the important assets that are likely to be impacted by rising sea levels.

Key outcomes

  • Restore the island’s woodland
  • Stabilise and restore the island’s coastline
  • Increase native animal habitat
  • Improve the condition of island vegetation
  • Improve visitor amenity

As a popular tourism destination, sustainable management initiatives are a key in realising the long-term vision.  

As well as vital sustainable energy upgrades, RIA is working towards longer term sustainability through four sustainability targets:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Increase power production from renewable energy sources
  • Deliver sustainable water production from desalination plans
  • Implement water management strategies, including water reuse and wastewater recovery

Key outcomes

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use
  • Improve island waste management and waste resource recovery rates
  • Reduce water loss

The proposed Wadjemup Conservation Centre is designed to be a progressive, public-facing conservation facility that focuses on visitor engagement, research, and showcasing the island’s complex natural environments. It will be a focal point for informing visitors of the island’s flora and fauna values, and will also support research. RIA is currently seeking funding for the Wadjemup Conservation Centre through grants, philanthropic funds, and corporate partnering.

Key outcomes

  • Seek external funding for the development of the Wadjemup Conservation Centre
  • Increase visitor engagement with the island’s natural values

A key focus for the RIMP 2023-28 period is to strategically manage all recreational activities across the island. RIA’s aim is to ensure a range of opportunities and experiences can be enjoyed by all visitors. and providing a safe, sustainable, engaging experience. 

By increasing the dispersal of visitors across the island, RIA can maintain the environmental values of specific sites, while enabling visitors to have a more enriching interaction with the environment. 

Key outcomes

  • Strategic recreation management
  • Improve management of specific island sites and their unique environmental values
  • Increase sustainable recreational opportunities, while minimising user conflicts