The Modern Outback: Nature, people and the future of remote Australia – full report

The Modern Outback: Nature, people and the future of remote Australia – full report Report

  • Author(s): John Woinarski, Barry Traill, Carol Booth
  • Published: 2014
  • Publisher: The Pew Charitable Trusts

Abstract: Through this report, we seek to rekindle our society’s affinity with, understanding of and empathy for the Outback environment. Here, we seek not only to explain and re-evaluate the Outback, but also to nurture it, to reconcile the seemingly incompatible notions of its ecological frailty with our image of it as a harsh, rugged and timeless place, and to sketch a future of it that enhances its wonder and its centrality in Australians’ lives. Our perspective is also for those who call the Outback home. For its residents, this is a life-defining concern: how can these lands, and the communities they support, be sustained? Typical of small populations that are remote from centres of power, many Outback residents feel disenfranchised from the nation’s agenda, central narrative and drivers. The Modern Outback: Nature, people and the future of remote Australia explores four intertwined themes: • The natural values of Outback Australia and their national and global significance. • How the Outback functions and the character of its ecology. • How nature underpins Outback lives and livelihoods. • The many threats the Outback is facing that are degrading, or may soon degrade, its extraordinary value. Although this study is about conservation, its focus is broader than national parks and threatened species. Under consideration is how Australia can create a ‘modern Outback’ while maintaining the natural integrity of its diverse regions. The paper discusses practical approaches that are already improving development and conservation outcomes, and that can be increased in size and scale.

Notes: See also the separate brief report entry accompanying

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John Woinarski, Barry Traill, Carol Booth, 2014, The Modern Outback: Nature, people and the future of remote Australia – full report, Report, viewed 13 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=2760.

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