This has since been recognised as "an outstanding example of collaborative research" by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in a Peer Review Report, which engaged twelve regions across ten OECD countries. The report was published in 2006.
"As a result of this initiative, the research capacity at USC has been greatly enhanced and the eco-tourism offerings of KBRV strengthened," the OECD report said.
The research into Fraser Island represents the largest collection of research theses (15) by any discipline yet achieved by USC. The theses examine flora and fauna species and wetlands on Fraser Island; environmental interpretation and sustainable tourism. The results of research are made available to organisations and agencies such as the Environmental Protection Authority.
The resort also supports an international move by the University of the Sunshine Coast to tackle global deterioration in protected areas by a global alliance of researchers via a MOU linking research stations on Fraser Island, Yellowstone National Park and Kruger National Park, relevant Environmental Protection Agencies and ecotourism partners.
The resort sponsors researchers and graduate students with free accommodation, transport and ranger support, both in the field and with experiments.
The research into Fraser Island examines flora and fauna species and wetlands, impacts of tourism and environmental interpretation and sustainable tourism at Kingfisher Bay Resort. This has attracted substantial interest from scientists and researchers in Germany, Finland, Asia and North America. For example, researchers from Turku University in Finland have conducted ecological mapping of Fraser Island.
Kingfisher has also sponsored other Fraser Island research by academics from Griffith University and the University of Southern Queensland, by giving research teams ongoing support with free accommodation, meals, transport and ranger assistance for programs such as:
- Study of perched lakes;
- Geomorphologic study of dune formations;
- Study of dingoes and interaction with humans; and
- Fire Ecology.
Researchers and experts often blog for us on our dedicated resort blog.
UPDATE: In October 2012 the resort also worked with the University of the Sunshine Coast and the work they are doing to facilitate an Indonesian Australian Leadership Award Fellowship (ALAF) program. The aim of the program is to assist the ALAF Indonesian Fellows in building their knowledge and skills to develop integrated, collaborative and sustainable policies, plans and practices which address current environmental and social problems, and enable the most well-known tourism destination: Gili Matra to be maintained as a well-managed tourism destination for the economic and social benefit of the local population and the NTB Provincial Government.
The program included theory, workshops, case studies, on-site visits to four exemplar Queensland island tourism destinations- including Fraser Island - and facilitated discussions with leaders in sustainable coastal tourism management. The team from Kingfisher Bay Resort hosted the delegation on several eco tours including our worm, herb and sewerage treatment farm.