Managing protected areas
Pressures on our parks are increasing. Natural places are being overtaken by urban, industrial and agricultural development. Precious remnants like national parks and other protected areas have to provide homes for wildlife to maintain our biodiversity and meet expanding outdoor recreation needs.
Protected areas, forests and marine parks provide the cornerstones for a broader whole-of-landscape and seascape approach to biodiversity conservation. They will continue to be extremely important for biodiversity conservation in the light of growing threats such as climate change, the delayed effects of fragmentation, and increased invasive species.
Multiple-use marine parks provide refuge areas for species and ecosystems while allowing for continuing use of the majority of the marine environment. Promoting healthy and resilient ecosystems ensures that these places will be around long into the future.
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Careful management and community help is needed to protect our parks and forests to safeguard the values which make them so special.
Legislation helps protect our parks. Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, preserving the natural condition of parks is the underlying principle for park management. The object of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 is the conservation of nature, while allowing for:
- the involvement of Indigenous people in the management of protected areas in which they have an interest under Aboriginal tradition or Island custom
- the use and enjoyment of protected areas by the community
- the social, cultural and commercial use of protected areas in a way consistent with the natural, cultural and other values of the areas.
A Master Plan for Queensland's Park System outlines the directions for management of all protected areas in Queensland for the next 20 years.
For each park, either a management statement or a management plan will be prepared to identify the park's special values and determine ways to ensure those values are preserved and enhanced.
Parks are managed for many purposes. Nature comes first but people are not forgotten. Careful management ensures people can enjoy the parks without damaging these special places.
Park Profiles is a tool which assists with setting strategic management priorities for Queensland's parks and forests. It includes the categorisation of all parks and forests in Queensland, and the Rapid Assessment Program which evaluates how well our parks are managed.