The Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative Reserve System (CARRS) of protected areas is the foundation of conserving biodiversity. These protected areas will offer future generations access to nature and its biological resources. They will also add to our community's spiritual and material wealth.
Our system of protected areas covers more than 21 million hectares but remains incomplete.
New areas need to be protected to ensure the ongoing conservation of South Australia's native biodiversity. Through grants and donations, the following organisations have helped us to purchase 295,000 hectares of land (worth more than $13.8 million) over the past 5 years:
- Caring for our Country
- Nature Foundation of South Australia Inc.
- Native Vegetation Council
- Planning Development Fund
- Coast Protection Board
- Friends of Parks Inc.
These purchases have been guided by the Caring for our Country business plan.
The CARRS program aims to establish a CARRS of protected areas to conserve South Australia's native biodiversity. It will:
- allow for the special needs of rare or threatened species, communities or ecosystems
- cater for special groups of organisms that have complex habitat requirements, are mobile or migratory species
- include significant areas that may have high species diversity, act as natural refugia or are places for species evolution.
A strategy and an action plan are being prepared that will focus on the conservation of native biodiversity in terrestrial, marine, coastal, and inland aquatic ecosystems over all forms of land ownership. It is intended to provide the capacity to develop coordinated and integrated programs at a state, regional and local level. It is not intended to change existing programs like Heritage Agreements and Marine Parks. The strategy will provide overarching principles that facilitate integration and coordination.
CARRS forms the South Australian portion of the National Reserve System and assists the establishment of the core of protected areas in the NatureLinks program.