This handbook aims to assist the application in the Australian context of the ‘Guidelines for ProtectedArea Management Categories’ which were adopted and published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in 1994. IUCN, now known as the World Conservation Union, brings together governments, their specialist agencies and local, national and international non-government bodies concerned about nature conservation to consider problems and devise strategies to facilitate conservation of nature throughout the world.
The IUCN Guidelines are designed for application internationally and therefore need to employ a degree of generality. Consequently, the development of subsidiary guidelines which provide for a more local focus and clarification of local issues was envisaged by IUCN during their development.
Consistent with this intention, the primary purpose of this handbook is to provide further explanation to the IUCN Guidelines and, more particularly, to provide interpretation to them for the particular circumstances that apply in Australia. The handbook will be primarily used by protected area managers to classify protected area systems against the IUCN Guidelines in a consistent manner.
Additionally, it is envisaged the handbook will be useful in providing further explanation of the IUCN Guidelines to all parties interested in the development of protected area systems.
While the handbook has been developed as a stand-alone document, it is emphasised that it is not
designed to replace the 1994 publication describing the IUCN Guidelines. That remains the primary
reference and the present handbook should be therefore regarded as complementary to that