University of Tasmania
whole_BeddingJulietMyrna1991_thesis.pdf (22.45 MB)

The World Heritage Convention and its implementation in Australia

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posted on 2023-05-27, 06:25 authored by Bedding, Juliet M(Juliet Myrna)
The thesis involves an examination of the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (hereinafter referred to as the World Heritage Convention) in its international context, and the implementation of the Convention in Australia. This examination begins with a consideration of the sources and development of international environmental law. It moves to consider specifically the concept of a world heritage as a basis for imputing environmental responsibility to States. The international legal issues arising from the idea of a world heritage, particularly its relationship to concepts of sovereignty and development, are explored. The emergence of the world heritage concept is traced through a discussion of earlier international documents dealing with protection of unique aspects of the cultural and natural environment. Detailed analysis of the terms and operation of the World Heritage Convention, which embodies the concept as a matter of international law, enables a discussion of the effectiveness of the Convention as an instrument for achieving international cooperation on issues of environmental protection. The implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Australia is set in context through an examination of the development of environmental consciousness in Australia, and the constitutional framework for environmental decision-making in this country. A detailed analysis of the legal and administrative framework for world heritage protection enables a discussion of the extent to which Australia has fulfilled its obligations under the World Heritage Convention. Management of world heritage properties is considered in the context of international principles on the value of these sites, the role they play in sustainable development, and appropriate land-use policies, including multiple land-use. This discussion is extended into two case studies- of the Kakadu National Park and Great Barrier Reef world heritage sites. These case studies precipitate an analysis of the problems with implementation of the Convention in Australia. The Federal-State conflict is examined in its constitutional, political and economic contexts. The issue of the conflict between environment and development is also explored through the question of the status of private interests in world heritage properties. The final chapter looks at the future of the World Heritage Convention in Australia. It examines the prospects for cooperative federalism in the implementation of the Convention, the possibility of constitutional reform, and the potential for reducing conflict by fully realising the tourism potential of world heritage sites. The thesis emphasizes the international importance of the sites, and the obligations of the Australian Government, but sees these factors in the reality of the legal, political and economic situation of the country. The conclusion is that while some compromise at the stage of nomination is acceptable, properties included on the World Heritage List should not be subjected to activities which are likely to damage their world heritage qualities.


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Copyright 1991 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1991. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 287-312)

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