Tasmania

Case Study by: Austin Perez   Australia’s island state of Tasmania has established an extensive network of national parks and reserves to protect its distinct natural landscape and biodiversity. Its geographical isolation for long periods of geological time has allowed for the evolution of some of the world’s most unique flora and fauna. The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and The Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment report that the total amount of reserved area in Tasmania is 3,064,500 hectares, which is 45% of the state’s total terrestrial area. Of this, 45% of Tasmania’s forests are also protected within its reserve system. Approximately 1.4 million hectares of this protected area makes up the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Area established in 1982 and extended in 1989. In addition, Tasmania has also protected 7.7% of its state coastal waters by establishing 135,000 hectares of Marine Protected Areas. This commitment to protecting its wild nature by establishing a network of reverses that protects 45% of its land area makes Tasmania an excellent representation of Nature Needs Half. Tasmania protected areas map © Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service The discovery of valuable minerals on Tasmania in the late 1800s and the development of hydroelectric energy in the early twentieth century posed a serious threat to Tasmania’s natural environment. The mining boom and industrial development led to heavy exploitation of Tasmania’s natural resources, including a significant depletion of its forests for timber resources. Then, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the proposed flooding of Lake Pedder for the construction of a hydroelectric dam project sparked...