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State of the Parks

Canoe at Tidal River

Parks Victoria evaluates the effectiveness of our park management activities in parks across the state through our State of the Parks (SoP) program.

The purpose of SoP is to:

  • Undertake a systematic evaluation of the outcomes of management programs and the extent to which park management objectives are being met
  • Review our achievements, highlight current challenges and identify emerging issues
  • Inform and adapt our management programs following the review.

SoP is consistent with state and national priorities for evaluation and reporting through the Victorian Government Land and Biodiversity White Paper and the Commonwealth Government National Reserve System guidelines for the states and territories.

How it works

The process for SoP is based around best-practice adopted by the World Commission on Protected Areas. These assessments are now being undertaken by a number of park agencies around the world. 

SoP assesses all park management output areas:

  • Environment, land and water
  • Culture and heritage
  • Visitors and community
  • Fire and emergency management
  • A sustainable organisation

SoP is based on a broad range of indicator groups:

  • Representation of park values
  • Planning
  • Resources
  • Information
  • Management response
  • Management outcomes

These indicator groups each have detailed indicators and measures.

How are State of the Parks results used?

The information collected through the State of the Parks program is used by Parks Victoria to help improve the way we are managing the Victorian parks system. 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 resources

Evaluation

Parks Victoria uses a two tiered approach in evaluating our management effectiveness:

  • Assess around 95 per cent of the parks network via a systematic staff survey. A range of information sources (corporate datasets, commissioned studies, monitoring reports and expert/ranger opinion) inform responses to the survey.
  • Targeted quantitative monitoring programs for a sub-set of parks.

The first State of the Parks report was published in 2000 and the second edition in 2007.

The third edition is now available:

State of the Parks third edition - full report 

State of the Parks Third Edition - summary (PDF, 2.7MB)