26 September 2023

National parks guide leaves beaten track

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A reference book on how to manage national parks produced by the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, is to become available to European and Latin American countries after being translated into Spanish.

Lead author of the book, ANU’s Dr Graeme Worboys said national parks were fundamental to the wellbeing of the planet.

“They’re usually the best examples of a nation’s unique nature, culture, superlative scenery and wildlife and they are an intergenerational investment,” Dr Worboys said.

“National parks contribute to a healthier planet; they provide ecosystem services and attract millions of visitors worldwide every year.”

However, they had to be managed well if they were to be successful.

“This is a significant challenge,” he said.

Dr Worboys came up with an idea for a free and comprehensive guide to managing national parks, which could be used by rangers, park managers and policy people all over the world.

The result was Protected Area Governance and Management, published by ANU Press in 2015.

“This book covers all aspects of national park management, from first principles to dealing with complex matters such as visitor use, and threats like climate change,” he said.

The textbook is now used by universities in Australia, the United States and Egypt and by park practitioners in 86 countries. Its usefulness has led to demand for a Spanish version.

“The English version has had 86,000 individual downloads since in it was launched. We’re incredibly proud the Spanish version is now complete as well,” Dr Worboys said.

“So many people who care for the environment who could never afford a book like this now have access to it — it’s a major investment in better parks and a better planet”.

Both the English and Spanish versions of the text are now available online, through the ANU Press website.

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