The National Parks Association of NSW (commonly known as NPA) is a member-based conservation organisation and registered charity. Our mission is protecting nature through community action.
We are committed to protecting, conserving and restoring the integrity and diversity of nature, its biodiversity, geodiversity, supporting ecological processes and associated cultural values. We complement our conservation work by providing rewarding and enjoyable opportunities for people to experience, appreciate, study and care for nature.
What we do
We advocate for nature through our ongoing campaign for a secure network of protected areas, regional-scale conservation measures and sound land management. Our work is driven by informed and evidence-based input to policy, planning and legislation.
We connect people with nature through our unrivalled community program of bushwalking, field surveys, bush regeneration and nature study. Our nature-based activities, publications, events and webinars seek to arouse a deeper appreciation and care for nature.
We enable community action through our network of regional and specialist groups, and by collaboration with allied organisations. The remarkable talents, experience and enthusiasm of our members is central to our work and achievements.
Our special focus emphasises the primacy of ‘protected areas’ (such as national parks) for securing the long-term conservation of nature and associated cultural values—so that our core natural areas remain safeguarded for generations to come.
Our geographical focus is the land, rivers and seas of New South Wales and adjoining areas, viewed within their local, regional, continental and global context.
NPA’s current directions, priorities and strategies are described in our Strategic Plan.
Established in 1957, NPA has played a part in the protection of nearly every conservation reserve in NSW. Through relentless campaigning, NPA has seen the proportion of terrestrial NSW within protected areas grow from 1% in 1957 to about 10% in 2022 – an increase of approximately 6.5 million ha!. The percentage for coastal waters is currently 6.5%.
We now aim to achieve 30% protection across land and sea by 2030 in line with international consensus.
Our earliest campaigns in the 1950s and 1960s focused on protecting key natural areas, including Barrington Tops, Myall Lakes and the Kosciuszko summit area. Through the 1970’s, 80s and 90s, our efforts were instrumental in securing many of the State’s greatest natural wonders, including the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, the South East Forests and the mighty Wollemi Wilderness. Today’s interrelated threats of climate change, habitat loss, resource extraction, urban expansion and invasive species make our work more important than ever.
One of our most important achievements was the introduction in 1967 of robust national parks legislation and a dedicated professional parks service. We remain vigilant to constant attempts to weaken their effectiveness.