Environment Insitute member Corey Bradshaw co-authored this piece on The Conversation on June 14, 2013.
Australia boasts over 500 national parks covering 28 million hectares of land, or about 3.6% of Australia. You could be forgiven for thinking we’re doing well in the biodiversity-conservation game.
But did you know that of those more than 500 national parks, only six are managed by the Commonwealth Government? For marine parks, it’s a little more: 61 of the 130-plus are managed primarily by the Commonwealth. This means that the majority of our important biodiversity refuges are managed exclusively by state and territory governments. In other words, our national parks aren’t “national” at all.
In a world of perfect governance, this wouldn’t matter. But we’re seeing the rapid “relaxation” of laws designed to protect our “national” and marine parks by many state governments. Would making all of them truly national do more to conserve biodiversity?
One silly decision resulting in a major ecosystem disturbance in a national park can take decades if not hundreds of years to heal. Ecosystems are complex interactions of millions of species that take a long time to evolve – they cannot be easily repaired once the damage is done.
The full article can be accessed here.