Australia's Natural Lands and Rivers

Contents

Overview

Australia's Natural Lands and Rivers (ANLR) contains information on Australia's Rivers and Catchment Condition Database (ARCCD) (formerly a part of the Wild Rivers project) which identifies Australia's undisturbed rivers. ANLR also maintains the Australian Land Disturbance Database, which is a former part of the National Wilderness Inventory program. The program was initially developed by the Australian Heritage Commission in 1986. The databases, primarily involving data gathering and survey work, are based on projects that were either completed or last updated in 1998. ANLR keeps this information and related publications available for public viewing.

Rivers & Catchments

The Wild Rivers project arose from the Prime Minister's Statement on the Environment, December 1992. The document set out a commitment by the Commonwealth to assist agencies to identify rivers in near-pristine condition and to encourage protection and proper management of their total catchment. The Australian Heritage Commission was given the lead role in developing the Near-pristine Rivers Project, later renamed the Wild Rivers project and lead to the forming of the ARCCD.

The analysis of ARCCD has produced lists of identified natural rivers and maps of the River Disturbance Index. From this index, thresholds on the level of disturbance were placed on the data and a subset of rivers were identified as "undisturbed" by both State and Commonwealth governments.

Conservation Guidelines for the Management of Wild River Values is a report of the Wild Rivers project to identify Australia's undisturbed rivers. The Identification of Wild Rivers - Methodology and Database Development reports ARCCD methodology. A Wild Rivers Committee had been responsible for the overall guidance of the project.

Land Disturbance

The National Wilderness Inventory project was initiated as a result of community concern over the rapid decline in the area and quality of relatively remote and natural land in Australia. The project also aimed to increase recognition of the need for wilderness resource information to assist scientists and administrators with wilderness conservation and management planning.

The disturbance database has been developed by Australian scientists using a unique methodology outlined in the National Wilderness Inventory Handbook of Procedures, Content and Usage. Disturbance refers to that resulting from post-european technological and population impacts, where the disturbance indicators have been used to map Australia's least disturbed lands. Areas of minimal disturbance that meet wilderness size thresholds were delineated by the Commonwealth Wilderness Delineation Project.

The Role of Wilderness in Nature Conservation report was commissioned by Environment Australia, Australian and World Heritage Group, World Heritage and Wilderness Branch as a background briefing for internal policy formulation within the portfolio.