Australia vows to tackle ‘chronic underfunding’ of national parks
Sydney, Australia, Apr 26 (EFE).- Australia announced Wednesday it would give its national parks funds to repair crocodile warning signs and fight invasive species among other measures to improve their safety and conservation.
Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek told Australian public broadcaster ABC that some parks had been closed to tourists in recent years because they had become unsafe and that $ 174 million would be allocated for their renovation and upkeep.
“These natural treasures should be a source of national pride, but instead they are falling apart,” Ms Plibersek said in a statement to public broadcaster ABC, adding that “shockingly, two of Australia’s most recent extinctions happened in our national parks.”
The funds, allocated from the next fiscal year on Jul. 1, will help restore the infrastructure of these parks and improve management to conserve the nature and heritage of indigenous ancestral cultures, according to a Wednesday labor ministry statement.
Plibersek said the government could place special emphasis on the parks of Kakadu, in the northern tropical jungle, home to gigantic crocodiles, as well as Uluru-Kata Tjuta, in the central desert, home to the giant Uluru red monolith and home to one of the world’s oldest living cultures.
Both parks are on the Unesco World Heritage list.
The Parks Australia government organization, which reports to Canberra, is in charge of six national parks, 60 marine parks and the National Botanical Gardens, which also has hundreds of parks and reserves operating under other types of management to protect the country’s rich diversity. EFE