The Protected Areas Learning and Research Collaboration is a tertiary and vocational education and research initiative dedicated to natural and cultural heritage protection, stewardship and conservation management and capacity development for Australia, Asia, and the Pacific.
The Collaboration will benefit professionals and community-based conservation practitioners working on protected areas and other area-based conservation activities.
The Collaboration is providing short courses and graduate certificate and masters courses. The PALRC courses specifically address selected competences from A Global Register of Competences for Protected Area Practitioners. Launched at the World Conservation Conference in Hawaii in September 2016, this is a comprehensive directory of and user guide to the skills, knowledge and personal qualities required by managers, staff and stewards of protected and other conserved areas. This user guide is critical to the consideration of courses and course content which is adopted by the PALRC.
We hope that other institutions will join the Collaboration in offering courses. Both Charles Darwin University and Charles Sturt University are now offering courses for the first time and the University of South Pacific is examining this.
The Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute offers its first short course under the Collaboration in 2017.
As the Protected Areas Learning and Research Collaboration initiative develops, we invite your comments, suggestions and support so that the Collaboration is relevant to your needs and aspirations.
About the logo – the three allied elements reflect the coherent coupling of the associated areas of natural/cultural heritage protection, stewardship and conservation management, while referencing the three universities involved in the provenance of this trail blazing initiative.The members link and overlap to form a complete circle, representing the global framework of protected areas in Australia, Asia and the Pacific.
Throughout the region there are multiple IUCN Category I-VI protected areas (e.g. national parks, public and private conservation reserves, Indigenous Protected Areas, marine protected areas, and other conservation areas) along with community managed conservation areas cared for and lived in by people over the generations with the aim of ensuring the long term conservation of nature along with associated community, cultural and social values and the provision of ecosystem services. With long-standing and mounting contemporary pressures on these areas and their custodians, it is vitally important to provide both a means to professionalize – and an opportunity to provide a career path for – managers and community members and others engaged in protected areas management.
There is an identified need throughout the world and particularly in Australia, Asia and the Pacific for capacity building to support the development of protected area practitioners with the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies for effective management and care of protected area systems on land and sea. This need has been identified by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) and its members.