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Legal Framework for Protected Areas: Australia I IUCN

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The Australian continent, together with its islands and marine areas, manifests high levels of biodiversity.
It has a comprehensive and globally recognized legislative and policy regime for terrestrial and marine
protected areas. Despite this generally innovative scheme, Australia continues to suffer from significant
loss of its biodiversity. This case study sets out the Australian legislative framework, policy and
principles of protected areas legislation and management at the federal level. It focuses primarily on the
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth) and the regulations
made thereunder. Attention is also given to the new concept of connectivity conservation and its
implementation in Australia. The pertinent aspects of the 2009 review of the Act, and especially its
recommendations on protected areas, are canvassed. The case study also briefly deals with the Great
Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (Commonwealth) and the Commonwealth legislation concerning the
Antarctic. The various forms of terrestrial and marine protected areas and their legal frameworks are
outlined, along with their establishment, planning, management and enforcement regimes.

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