Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

6th National Wilderness Conference

Wilderness, tourism and national parks: taking stock and looking ahead
University of Technology, Sydney, 21-23 September 2012
Conference papers and power point presentations

Wilderness matters; it isn't a nostalgic and overblown idea from the 1960s that has worn out its usefulness. As the global environment plummets into crisis and ‘business as usual’ is rushing ever more recklessly in the opposite direction, chasing the almighty dollar, wilderness is more important than ever. Our parks, reserves and natural areas are everywhere imperilled, by climate change, mining, tourism and many other threats. Wilderness remains a sanctuary and an insurance against the complete exploitation of nature.

Which is why the Colong Foundation took the baton up again for the National Wilderness Conference, established by Geoff Mosley and the Australian Conservation Foundation in 1977. The 5th conference, Celebrating Wilderness, was hosted by the Colong Foundation in 2006. The 6th Conference Wilderness, tourism and national parks - taking stock and looking ahead was co-presented by the Colong Foundation, NSW National Parks Association and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

Conference papers and power point presentations

The conference had a tourism theme, in response to the Australia-wide push by parts of the industry for more tourism ‘access’ and development of national parks. Most state governments have taken up this idea with gusto. The fears of environmental groups may be justified but it is also essential to engage with those environmentally aware elements of tourism industry and government to influence the future. This was one purpose of the conference.

Dr Bob Brown launched the conference on the Friday night with a well attended public address. The keynote address - on New Zealand wilderness, tourism and national parks - was delivered by Dr Les Molloy who has been involved in wilderness advocacy for many years, and worked and written widely on conservation and consults internationally on world heritage.

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