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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 30(1)

Protected areas and development in arid Australia – challenges to regional tourism

Pascal Tremblay

Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT 0909, Australia. Email: pascal.tremblay@cdu.edu.au
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The principal contention of this paper is that the traditional approach to park management is inadequate to deal with the contemporary goals of protected areas, in particular, biodiversity conservation, cultural heritage management and the management of socio-economic development within parks. This is particularly true for parks in remote regions like Central Australia, where management on a broader scale is required. The benefits of park management embracing a regional approach to development and conservation are examined. This paper also identifies some serious restrictions to development. Parks rely heavily on abstract management plans, and do not have a transparent framework through which to set objectives and targets. These objectives would allow parks to evaluate their organisation’s performance. Iconic landscape assets dominate the tourism economy in Central Australia. The number of different institutions managing parks has hampered the establishment of a valuation framework. This framework would allow regional resource allocation decisions to be assessed and parks’ performances to be monitored. Proper assessment and monitoring would strengthen the case for additional park funding to pursue conservation and development responsibilities.

Keywords: Central Australia, economic development, institutional governance, parks, valuation framework.

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