Nature conservation in South Australia is based around a combination of inter-linking international, national, state and regional frameworks - 'think globally, act locally.'

At the international level, nature conservation is primarily guided by the policy work of various commissions under the auspices of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (otherwise known as the IUCN; see

These commissions include:

From a species conservation perspective, these commissions have developed some significant international conservation conventions, such as the:

Each of these commissions and conventions informs, and is informed by, nature conservation policy, legislation and strategy frameworks at both the national and state/territory level in Australia.

Australia's connections to the work of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) are primarily through the Commonwealth Government's environment conservation agency.

These connections are reflected in the following legislation and regulation:

The major elements of the Act relating to species and ecological community conservation are the recognition and listing of matters of National Environmental Significance (NES) and the regulation of activities that may have significant impact on these matters.

These matters of NES include:

The first two areas, above are collectively addressed through three important bilateral migratory bird agreements. These agreements are the:

  • Japan - Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA)
  • China - Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA)
  • Republic of Korea - Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (ROKAMBA).

These agreements are also supported by an East Asian - Australasian Flyway Partnership implementation strategy (2007-2011).

However, a significant aspect of matters of NES is the listing, protection, management and recovery of threatened species and ecological communities. States and territories are involved in these activities.

More information:

South Australia's connections to international conservation conventions are primarily through partnerships with the commonwealth and other state/territory governments. They are reflected in state legislation, strategies, policies and programs.

The primary nature conservation legislation in South Australia is through the legislation following.

National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 for protection of representative areas of the state's diverse range of:

  • ecosystems
  • ecological communities
  • habitats
  • species and their populations.

Native Vegetation Act 1991 for:

  • the protection of native vegetation, both for its own sake and as habitat of listed threatened species
  • to regulate clearance of native vegetation.

Landscape South Australia Act 2019 for, among other things:

  • the protection of biodiversity and the resources our plants and wildlife depend on
  • the control of some of the things that threaten them.

Fisheries Management Act 2007 for, among other things, the:

  • conservation and management of the aquatic resources of the state
  • protection of aquatic habitats, aquatic mammals and aquatic resources
  • control of exotic aquatic organisms and disease in aquatic resources.