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Leading environmental groups welcome Queensland Government’s strategy to protect national parks

Leading environmental groups welcome Queensland Government’s strategy to protect national parks
October 4, 2020

Leading environmental groups including the Queensland Conservation Council, National Parks Association of Queensland, Pew Charitable Trusts, WWF Australia and the Australian Conservation Foundation have welcomed the Queensland Government’s commitment to expanding and better managing national parks and privately protected areas with the recent release of a Protected Area Strategy.

Days out from going into caretaker mode for this year's election, the Queensland Government has delivered on a promise made last election - to protect more wilderness areas in Queensland with an initial investment of $60 million.

Queensland’s Protected Area Strategy 2020-2030 is a new 10-year plan for supporting the growth, management and sustainability of national parks and other protected areas and details how protecting and revitalising national parks will play a vital role in supporting economic recovery for Queensland.

Despite having more plant and animal species than any state or territory, Queensland currently protects the least proportion of land or any state or territory at just 8.2%. This is well below the Queensland Government’s target of 17% protection, in line with international targets.

Queensland Conservation Council’s Protected Area Program Coordinator, Andrew Picone advised that by 2030, the protected area strategy has the potential to turn Queensland's extinction crisis around by better managing threats to wildlife as we make progress towards protecting 17% of the state.

"The Strategy captures the urgency of Queensland's role in averting a global extinction crisis and with the right investment, has the potential to deliver game-changing outcomes for endangered wildlife while boosting the economy.

“The release of the Protected Area Strategy has the potential to be a turning point on expanding and caring for our national parks and nature refuges, but an ambitious plan needs to be matched with ambitious funding.  That’s what we’ll be looking for from all sides of politics in the coming weeks and months.

“The addition of measurable targets for expansion and management will be critical elements for this strategy to be effective.

“We call on all parties to commit the resources needed to build a world class protected area system.”

Pew Charitable Trusts Queensland Manager, Sophia Walter adds “we welcome the Strategy’s emphasis on improving engagement with First Nations people for protected area expansion and management across the state.

“Investment in protected areas will help to support the state's economic recovery, and we will be seeking further investment in next year's state budget.”

While National Parks Association of Queensland, President, Susanne Cooper highlighted that “Queenslanders love to get out in national parks, the cornerstone of our tourism industry. Investment in national parks and the jobs they bring should be a key plank in our economic recovery.

“We need to invest now to secure this legacy for our children and grandchildren.

“A $60 million down payment is a solid kickstart for the strategy, but we need to see investment of at least $135 million a year to restart progress on fulfilling the government’s vision of a ‘world class’ protected area estate.”

WWF Australia’s Protected Areas and Conservation Science Manager, Martin Taylor also commented that “the strategy underscores the enormous economic, social and environmental benefits of protected areas for Queensland.”

Despite having more plant and animal species than any state or territory, Queensland currently protects the least proportion of land or any state or territory at just 8.2%. This is well below the Queensland Government’s target of 17% protection, in line with international targets.

Image: Boodjamulla National Park Credit: @the.wildlings courtesy of The Outback Queensland Tourism Association (OQTA) - a Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) in Queensland.

Related Articles

3rd October 2020 - Queensland Government releases long-term plan to protect and expand national parks

1st October 2020 - Australian Marine Conservation Society welcomes Queensland’s new reforms for shark finning

29th September 2020 - Queensland Government offers attractions, hospitality and tourism sectors land rent relief

3rd September 2020 - Queensland Government continues to invest in tourism attractions

2nd September 2020 - Land Restoration Fund to benefit Queensland environment and threatened species

31st August 2020 - $11.3 million funding boost announced for Far North Queensland tourism

28th July 2020 - Neighbouring Outback Queensland councils partner in major destination marketing campaign

15th July 2020 - Queensland Government moves to ban single-use plastics to save marine life

13th February 2020 - Indigenous tourism in Cairns to receive new funding

11th November 2019 - Queensland Government announces 2020 as the Year of Indigenous Tourism

12th December 2018 - Queensland National Parks start reopening in aftermath of bushfires

28th November 2018 - Queensland National Parks receive 6.4 million visits in year to March

9th August 2017 - Australia’s great outdoors needs to be more accessible for nature-based tourism

6th December 2016 - Queensland National Parks Minister announces significant expansion of protected area estate

13th January 2014 - Queensland national park ecotourism proposals move to next stage

5th June 2013 - Queensland national park estate review to strengthen quality land protections

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