Protecting Heritage Places

10 steps to help protect the natural and cultural significance of places
Australian Heritage Commission, 2000

Step 8: What is your plan? (continued)

What's the difference between a conservation plan and a management plan?

To cover the needs for natural and cultural heritage, and areas containing many heritage features, this Website uses the term management plan. Natural and cultural heritage professionals use different terminology, as do lay people.

Conservation plan is the term most often used when dealing with historic heritage places. Conservation plans are very useful as detailed guides to protect features of recognised heritage significance. They outline policy or objectives for a heritage place, resulting from a conservation analysis, which covers Steps 1, 2 , 3 and 4 of this Website. Conservation plans are usually prepared by historic heritage conservation specialists who consult with the people involved. The work of applying the policies to a place and developing detailed strategies and actions is often left up to the managers of a place. A useful guide for preparing plans is The Conservation Plan by James Semple Kerr, available from the National Trust. See details in the Resources section.

Management plans usually go further than conservation plans and include more thought on the practical, political, resource and economic circumstances affecting the place and the best ways to deal with these issues. They are often best prepared by a group of people actively involved in managing the site.

'Management plan' is the more common terminology for plans which are prepared for areas containing many natural and cultural heritage places, such as protected areas, areas like water catchments and as well as for Indigenous heritage places. Management plans are also often required under Commonwealth and state environment legislation.

You may come across the term 'Conservation management plan' or 'CMP', which is a conservation plan with some consideration of management issues.