Parks and conservation

Protecting the environment is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. Our economic and social well-being depends on a healthy natural environment. The department is working with the community to meet this challenge.

The Nature Conservation Act 1992, Nature Conservation (Protected Areas Management) Regulation 2017 and Nature Conservation (Protected Areas) Regulation 1994 protect land and wildlife in Queensland. Under the Act, areas which represent Queensland's biological diversity, outstanding natural and cultural features and wilderness can be declared protected areas.

National parks are protected areas. Other protected areas are also very important for conservation but national parks are the cornerstone of Queensland's protected area system.

What is a national park?

National parks are special places which protect and conserve outstanding examples of Queensland's natural environment and cultural heritage.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), national parks are ‘large natural or near natural areas set aside to protect large-scale ecological processes, along with the complement of species and ecosystems characteristic of the area, which also provide a foundation for environmentally and culturally compatible spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities.’ Their primary objective is ‘to protect natural biodiversity along with its underlying ecological structure and supporting environmental processes, and to promote education and recreation’. (IUCN Category II: National Park)

On a world-scale, Queensland's national parks are recognised as true examples of the national park concept.