State of the Parks
Parks Victoria evaluates the effectiveness of management activities in parks across the state through the State of the Parks program.
The purpose of State of the Parks is to:
- Undertake a systematic evaluation of the outcomes of management programs and the extent to which park management objectives are being met for nature conservation,
- Traditional Owner cultural values, historic heritage, visitors and community, and fire and emergency management;
- Review achievements, highlight current challenges and identify emerging issues;
- Inform and adapt management programs following the evaluation.
How it works
The State of the Parks program is delivered on a three to five-yearly cycle. It is based on a framework developed by the World Commission on Protected Areas. Management effectiveness evaluations, such as State of the Parks, are considered best-practice and are implemented by numerous park agencies around the world.
Indicators and measures that cover representation of park values, planning, resources, information, management response and management outcomes have been developed.
Parks Victoria uses a two-tiered approach to evaluate management effectiveness:
1. Systematic, park-based assessments that are undertaken by park managers and draw on a range of information sources (corporate datasets, commissioned studies, monitoring reports and expert/professional opinion) to inform responses.
2. Targeted quantitative monitoring programs for a sub-set of parks.
How are State of the Parks results used?
The State of the Parks program gathers, analyses and summarises the best-available information on the condition, issues and the management effectiveness for Victoria’s parks estate. This data can be fully interrogated on bespoke spatial and temporal scales. The resulting knowledge is of high value in a diverse range of programs and processes and is used to help improve the way Parks Victoria manages the Victorian parks network. This includes:
- Identifying and sharing knowledge about the contributing factors that are influencing the condition of parks and the effectiveness of management programs.
- Highlighting gaps and emerging issues for improved planning and response.
- Providing evidence to better inform allocation of resource.
- Informing park management planning processes, including development of park management plans, conservation action plans, precinct plans, and implementation plans
- Informing risk assessments and recovery planning following emergency events (e.g. fire, flood)
- International benchmarking of the condition and management of the estate
The State of the Parks program also provides information to other government agency reports including State of the Environment reports, State of the Forests reports and catchment condition reporting.
View Victoria’s State of the Parks – Fourth Edition Online
Download Victoria’s State of the Parks - Third Edition Summary (accessible word document).
More detailed annual outcomes of environmental, cultural heritage, visitor experience and fire programs can be found in Parks Victoria’s Annual Reports, published each year.