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Conservation priorities: myths and realities (editorial)

Recher, H.F. (1997) Conservation priorities: myths and realities (editorial). Pacific Conservation Biology, 3 (2). p. 81.

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Jim Davie's essay on integrating nature conservation with the economic, social and political realities of Indonesia is as relevant to Australia as it is to developing nations. Although Davie makes this clear, it is a message that most Australians might overlook or choose to ignore. For too long Western nations have pursued the myth of nature conservation through reserves. We know that Australia's system of conservation reserves in neither representative nor viable in the long term. Conserving the continent's biodiversity requires a system of reserves and the environmentally sensitive management of the matrix within which the reserve system is embedded. Yet, Landcare and growing efforts by State forestry authorities aside, there is little evidence of environmentally sensitive management directed at conserving biodiversity on the vast expanse of urban, forestry, agricultural and pastoral lands throughout Australia. Moreover, it is by no means clear what the end result of establishing a comprehensive, adequate, and representative system of forest reserves throughout Australia will be. One concern is that the relevant authorities will adhere to the message of the myth and decide that with an "adequate" reserve system, management of forest biodiversity outside the reserves is less important or even unnecessary. If this eventuates, then the creation of a reserve system will actually have a negative impact on forest conservation.

Publication Type: Non-refereed Article
Publisher: Surrey Beatty & Sons
Copyright: © Surrey Beatty & Sons
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