Protected Areas, World Heritage and Wilderness

Tasmania’s wilderness areas, National Parks and reserves have inestimable intrinsic value as ecological treasures and biodiversity havens. They are also a shared community asset to be protected and enjoyed by future generations. Our wild places are key to Tasmania’s clean, green image and future economic direction.

The Tasmanian Greens are committed to the strongest possible protection for our outstanding temperate wilderness, our ancient forests, rivers and lake, superb landscapes and coastlines, archaeological treasures, stunning beauty, cultural assets, wealth of wildlife, biodiversity and geodiversity.

We have been instrumental in establishing and extending Tasmania’s National Parks, World Heritage and reserved lands estate against huge counter-pressure from vested interests and their political allies.

Tasmania still has unprotected wild places of high conservation and heritage value, including significant marine areas. We are committed to securing the protection of these areas and ensuring a management system which provides enduring protection in the interests of nature itself, and in the interests of all future generations.

Our reserves have been created primarily for ecological and recreational reasons, but, with sensitive management they will also be an enduring economic asset. A major threat to the integrity of our reserves and wilderness is corrosion of natural values through encroaching development and by mining. The Greens continue to campaign for the protection of our natural heritage and oppose any activity that compromises natural values.

We recognise the rights of the land’s traditional owners and their deep respect for country. We will continue to support initiatives that facilitate Aboriginal involvement in the ownership and management of protected areas.

Enjoyment of our wild places is an important principle in maintaining and increasing the recognised value inherent in these places. However, the creation of reserves does not absolve society from the obligation to manage all other land and waters on an ecologically sustainable basis.

Measures

National Parks

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. establish a Tarkine National Park in recognition of the Tarkine’s global significance as an area of outstanding natural and cultural value;

  2. continue to develop a world class system of National Parks and reserved lands managed appropriately and buffered from external threats;

  3. extend National Park status to areas contained within the current Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area where consistent with their identified natural values.

Reserves

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. ensure that all wilderness areas, high conservation value forests, threatened communities, habitats and landscapes (including karst) are adequately protected in the reserve system at a bioregional level;

  2. include representative samples of all ecological communities where possible;

  3. create comprehensive new marine reserves which include no-take zones;

  4. enable all recognised marine bioregions of Tasmania to have representative and adequate protection, utilising the Tasmanian Marine Protected Areas Strategy and recognising the bioregions currently unrepresented;

  5. increase resources for the management of reserves and employ additional on-ground staff, including rangers;

  6. create a marine reserves management unit, including rangers.

World Heritage

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. nominate for inclusion within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area all natural areas with identified world heritage values;

  2. recognise Aboriginal cultural values and the tens of thousands of years of human history written in this landscape of Tasmania’s protected areas;

  3. support co-management options for protected areas and formal reserves that are of Aboriginal heritage and cultural significance.

Restoration

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. incorporate the concept of restoration into management planning so that degraded areas which can be feasibly restored to a natural state are identified and rehabilitated, creating sustainable employment opportunities.

Management

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. prioritise protection of natural and cultural values;

  2. ensure high-quality visitor interpretation facilities and infrastructure;

  3. complete management plans for all reserves and redress the weakening of conservation priorities and decision-making oversight in the World Heritage Area Management Plan;

  4. ban mining exploration licenses when an area has been formally protected;

  5. address the impact of feral and invasive species.

Development

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. ensure that development within National Parks and World Heritage focuses on interpretation facilities, nature education facilities and sustainable, low-impact eco-tourism opportunities rather than resorts, large-scale accommodation facilities and insensitive building and infrastructure;

  2. support accommodation in nearby townships or in areas adjacent to reserves to protect park values and the visitor experience;

  3. ensure that tourism interpretation explains, and is sympathetic to, the natural and cultural values of protected area.

Education

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. institute appropriate training of tour guides in the explanation of ecological values;

  2. raise the profile of the value of protected areas within the whole community, nationally and globally.

The full policy is available for download below.