Aerial view of native forest in the Miles area on the Western Downs, Queensland, May 2017. Photo supplied.Dr Kara Youngentob with a hi-tech nest box for post-fire recovery of greater gliders © Jamie Kidston / ANU

Aerial view of native forest in the Miles area on the Western Downs, Queensland, May 2017. Photo supplied.

WWF welcomes record funding for new national parks in Queensland budget

21 Jun 2022

Keywords
  • biodiversity
  • protected areas
  • queensland

The World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia has welcomed the Queensland Government’s $262.5 million investment in expanding Queensland’s national parks and protected areas.

The funding package announced in today’s state budget includes $200 million to buy more land for national parks. It is the largest single investment in national parks acquisition in the state’s history.

WWF-Australia has advocated for more than a decade for a major expansion of Queensland’s protected areas, together with a broad alliance of conservation organisations.

“This funding is good news for threatened wildlife, eco-tourism jobs and the many Queenslanders wanting more nature-based experiences,” said Dr Stuart Blanch, Senior Manager, Towards Two Billion Trees, WWF-Australia.

“We can’t underestimate just how important national parks and other protected areas are for both people and wildlife. They provide our native species with much-needed safe havens and will play a vital role in helping us to prevent extinctions and Regenerate Australia.

“Queensland has the least developed network of protected areas of any state or territory in Australia, despite being home to amazing wildlife and ecosystems that support more than 1,000 threatened species.

“The 2020 national assessment of protected areas found only 8.71% of Queensland is within protected or conserved areas. This figure pales in comparison to the 42.3% in Tasmania, 24.9% in the Northern Territory and 23.3% in Western Australia.

“Today’s funding is a massive step in the right direction. It will move the Queensland Government closer to achieving its protected area target of 17%.

“It also sends a strong message to the new federal government of the scale of investment required to achieve its own election commitment to protect 30% of Australia’s land area by 2030.”

Dr Blanch said the creation of new protected areas must happen only with the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous traditional owners.

“We’d also like to see new forms of conserved areas that integrate with grazing properties to support landholders to conserve and restore wildlife as part of their livestock enterprises,” he said.

Today’s announcement comes in a critical week for the planet, with government representatives meeting in Nairobi for UN talks aiming to reach consensus on a global biodiversity plan to address the world’s catastrophic loss of nature.

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