Moving on from joint management policy regimes in Australian national parks

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Current Issues in Tourism, 2001, 4 (2-4), pp. 182 - 209
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Joint management regimes in Australia are seeing an increasing focus on cross-cultural approaches to management of national parks. This has brought under scrutiny the eurocentric approaches to park management that exclude the rights and perspectives of indigenous Australians. The history of our parks appears to have been built on policy that is not only exclusionary but stems from a hegemonic approach to management. With an increasing focus on natural resource and cultural tourism (often referred to as ecotourism) within Australia, it is time to address the issues that are fundamental to the provision of policy for this area of park management. Pressure from tourism can have significant impacts upon the natural and cultural resources of national parks, and thus on the local aboriginal community itself. Policies formulated within the framework of ecotourism principles, supported with social science research in the community studies area, are ideally suited to application within the joint management framework. These policies facilitate a cross-cultural flow of information and thus promote a development of the cross-cultural understanding that is vital to the resolution and progress of joint management. It would seem that policy directions founded on the principles of ecotourism and the facilitation of community ownership and control of tourism and the associated resource are being overlooked or treated in politically expedient ways as a means of appeasing legal requirements at both a management and political level.
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