National parks and protected areas are some of Australia’s most important public assets, and have widespread community support and recognition. NPAC is seeking clear commitments from all political parties and all levels of government to protect the integrity and security of national parks and protected areas for future generations.
State and Territory Governments, who are largely responsible for creating, managing and funding parks, must show leadership by resisting proposals that exploit and harm the conservation values of national parks and protected areas. The Australian government has a pivotal role to play in defining and implementing a national park and protected areas vision for all Australians to enjoy and benefit from.
NPAC is advocating for a national park acquisitions program that can deliver core habitat protection and connectivity to other protected areas; leverage funds from State Governments, Conservancies and Indigenous conservation partners committed to enduring conservation management; and harness the commitment and passion of Traditional Owners for looking after their country and deliver cross-portfolio Indigenous outcomes.
In order to achieve these goals, NPAC recommends:
1. Providing $500 million over five years for strategic National Park acquisitions across Australia.
2. Reforming the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to improve the security of our national parks and list these areas as Matters of National Environmental Significance.
3. Focusing future national park and other protected area acquisitions on critical habitats including climate change connections and refugia sites.
4. Developing national conservation land management standards that ensure national parks retain the values that led to their gazettal.
5. Developing a system of Marine Parks that is comprehensive, adequate and representative.
NPAC is meeting with Federal politicians from all political parties to provide them with copies of its 5 Policy Papers, to discuss how they can play a vital role in protecting and developing Australia’s national parks and protected areas legacy.