National Parks are the primary Protected Areas for nature conservation. In Queensland, protected areas are undersized, underfunded and under threat. They re...
National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ)
Connecting Community with Nature: Activity Days in National Parks
FIELD OF INTEREST
- Environment & Climate Change
- Flora / fauna
- General population
National Parks are the primary Protected Areas for nature conservation. In Queensland, protected areas are undersized, underfunded and under threat. They require expansion, protection and better management.
Community awareness and support is needed to drive this agenda to the Government. Connecting the community to these issues by a series of Activity Days in National Parks is a practical and effective way to build support for more action from Government.
The situation regarding National Parks in Queensland is woeful:
• Queensland has the lowest percentage of land in protected areas in Australia (8.4%) – less than half the national average (19%) and well below the Queensland Government’s own commitment of 17% by 2020;
• Queensland government funding for NP acquisition has declined by 65% since 2015;
• Since 2015, opportunities to purchase 175 properties with very high biodiversity values and protect them as NPs have been disregarded.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of nature and natural areas to the community’s physical health, mental health and overall well-being, with unprecedented numbers visiting National Parks and nature reserves. However, many people are not familiar with the critical role that National Parks serve in preserving our unique biodiversity and the role that the government should play in nature protection. We now have a significant opportunity to build a stronger connection in the community to these natural areas, and to galvanise their support in advocating for more resources for parks.
NPAQ propose a series of nine Activity Days over eight months in a variety of South East Queensland’s National Parks. They will connect the community to these natural areas, and highlight their crucial role in protecting our biodiversity.
These events will feature: practical activities with a nature focus; stories around various themes including the park’s natural and social history; explaining its unique features and their national /international significance; how we need to manage significant impacts, and guided walks to highlight its values. These activities will be fun, informative, and develop a strong appreciation and deeper understanding of the natural area’s significance and value. Material and information to motivate participants in advocating for parks will be part of the program. An important element will be the involvement of First Nations guide(s) to highlight the traditional values and uses of the National Park, and identify practical examples still present in the Park.
Although the whole community will be welcome, families and youth will be targeted participants. The Activity Days will highlight the important role of these protected natural areas, and the enjoyable experiences and discoveries they offer. They will be easily accessible, with the first being designed and run in a National Park close to Brisbane.
NPAQ currently does not have the staff or resources to undertake such a project.
Funding is required for a Project Officer to design and manage the delivery. They will need to trigger the interest and support of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) as an important partner. This has additional benefits in building stronger relationships to improve future NPAQ advocacy work.
. Project Objectives
• Connecting people to their National Parks;
• Sell the crucial role of National Parks;
• Build community support for well-managed natural areas;
• Empower people to advocate for additional government resources;
• Promote the profile and role of NPAQ in the community;
• Provide opportunities for First Nations guides to further develop skills in a paid role.
National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ)
NPAQ advocates for the protection, expansion and good management of the protected areas in Queensland; offers a bushwalking and outdoor recreation activity program; and provides opportunities to participate in community conservation and Citizen Science projects.
NPAQ supports the development and application of scientific and professional knowledge in advancing national parks and nature conservation
TOTAL BUDGET: $47,420
|Funding gap (unconfirmed)||$47,420|
|Stage 1 (Project Officer, Travel, Marketing, Indigenous ranger)||$18,020|
|Stage 2 (Project Officer, Travel, Marketing, Indigenous ranger)||$29,400|
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