The National Parks Association of NSW is proud to learn that three protected areas in the state are included on the new Green List of Protected Areas.

The Green List, unveiled at the recent World Parks Congress, was developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is a recognition of excellence in delivering conservation and management outcomes. Green Listing has the potential to be a major tourist drawcard as only the very best protected areas will be able to achieve the listing. It also recognises and rewards the hard work put in by managers of protected areas – including rangers – to maintaining the biodiversity and social values of protected areas.

The Green List is still in the trial phase and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the National Parks and Wildlife Service are the Australian partners in the pilot phase. The first three protected areas to make the list are the Cape Byron State Conservation Area and the Arakwal National Park on the north coast, and Montague Island Nature Reserve on the south coast.

NPA Science Officer, Dr Oisín Sweeney, said: ‘it’s a significant recognition for NSW to be the first state involved in the Green List. However the real work will start when we try to achieve listing for a really large protected area such as the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area or the Budawang Wilderness Area. It will be really difficult to assess how well such areas are doing in terms of conservation, simply because of their size and remoteness. But the Green List also offers a great opportunity both to honestly examine the performance of our parks and improve areas of weakness, and to figure out some benchmarks and indicators so that we can measure our performance into the future. It’s great to protect areas, but they have to do the job they were set up to do: protect species and habitats indefinitely for the enjoyment of all.’

Media contact: Oisín Sweeney, 0431251194