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Report Highlights the Value of Parks


A new report The Value of Parks focuses on the integral role of parks in the social, cultural, environmental and economic health of local communities.

The Minister for Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, Michelle O'Byrne, said the report highlights the important role of our parks and reserves system.

"World Environment Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and formally acknowledge the benefits to the community of our magnificent urban parks and protected areas," Ms O'Byrne said.

"Tasmania is unique in having almost 40 per cent of its area reserved in 19 national parks and in more than 400 reserves.

"Large, healthy parks provide safe havens for species by protecting vital habitat and protecting bio-diversity."
Ms O'Byrne said local, regional and state economies benefit significantly from parks and this was particularly the case in Tasmania where parks and natural icons are the central focus of our tourism industry.

"Tourism directly contributes about seven per cent to the State's Gross State Product - higher than any other state in Australia - which provides significant sources of employment and flow-on economic benefits for local communities.

"Parks and reserves also have positive health benefits for the community, by providing the opportunity for physical activity and recreation.

"By having ready access to these remarkable areas, Tasmanians can enjoy not only our renowned natural environment, but also a healthy and engaged lifestyle.

"The evidence of the benefits of our parks to our environmental, economic and social health is strong, and how we ensure the ongoing protection and good management of our parks will result in a real and measurable impact on future generations."

The Value of Parks was compiled by the Parks Forum, made up of park member agencies from across Australia and New Zealand, in partnership with IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and The People and Parks Foundation.

The Value of Parks report can be found on the Parks and Wildlife Service's website at www.parks.tas.gov.au