Australia

A HANDBOOK ON INTERNATIONAL WILDERNESS LAW AND POLICY, C. Kormos, ed., Fulcrum Press, 2008

Posted: 22 May 2009

Date Written: May 7, 2009

Abstract

This Chapter surveys the three different models of wilderness legislation in Australia: comprehensive legislation, minimalist legislation, and non-existent, and provides a detailed summary of the statutory provisions and their intent. The Chapter places the discussion within the context of Australian protected areas legislation and policy and within a context of discussion of biodiversity conservation objectives. It reviews statutory definitions of wilderness as well as provisions for declaration and revocation of areas. It progresses to a discussion of statutory wilderness management principles; prohibited uses; and the access of extractive industries to wilderness areas. It argues that the future of wilderness conservation in Australia must be seen in the context of three key issues concerning the protected areas system: first, the role of wilderness within protected areas policy, second, difficulties with the implementation of wilderness and protected areas legislation, and third, the involvement of indigenous Australians in the management of wilderness and other protected areas. The observation is made that the Australian experience with wilderness legislation has involved questions of implementation – such as a lack of resources for on-the-ground management, and delays in declaration of wilderness areas – to an extent that such questions are of equal if not greater importance than questions of the adequacy of legislation. It is further argued that there is a strong scientific foundation for the view that the protection of wilderness can make substantial contributions to biodiversity conservation. The challenge will be to ensure the protection of areas that have not yet been subjected to significant disturbance by industrialized society, through the process of devising and revising management plans for protected areas, and by involving traditional owners and indigenous communities in the management process.

Keywords: Wilderness legislation, Australian protected areas legislation, statutory definitions of wilderness, declaration and revocation of areas; statutory wilderness management principles, prohibited uses, extractive industries, biodiversity conservation law, protected areas law, private land conservation

Suggested Citation

Prest, James, Australia (May 7, 2009). A HANDBOOK ON INTERNATIONAL WILDERNESS LAW AND POLICY, C. Kormos, ed., Fulcrum Press, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1400498

James Prest (Contact Author)

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
+61 2 6125 1689 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.anu.edu.au/scripts/StaffDetails.asp?StaffID=377

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
213
PlumX Metrics