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, the Nature Conservation (Administration) Regulation 2006, Nature Conservation (Protected Areas Management) Regulation 2006 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 estate.

What is a national park?

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

  • A national park is: A natural area of land and/or sea, designated to
  • (a) protect the ecological integrity of one or more ecosystems for present and future generations,
  • (b) exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area and
  • (c) provide a foundation for spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities, all of which must be environmentally compatible. (World Conservation Union (IUCN) 1994 definition).

A national park is a relatively large area set aside for its features of predominantly unspoiled natural landscape, flora and fauna, permanently dedicated for public enjoyment, education and inspiration and protected from all interference other than essential management practices so that its natural attributes are preserved. (Definition of Australian Council of Nature Conservation Ministers, 1988)

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