Australian Natural Heritage Charter 1996:


Extract; page 3: ETHOS OF THE CHARTER

This Charter encompasses a wide interpretation of natural heritage and is based on respect for that heritage.  It acknowledges the principles of intergenerational equity, existence value, uncertainty and precaution.

Intergenerational equity means that the present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations.

The principle of existence value is that living organisms, earth processes and ecosystems may have value beyond the social, economic or cultural values held by humans.

The principle of uncertainty accepts that our knowledge of natural heritage and the processes affecting it is incomplete, and that the full potential significance or value of natural heritage remains unknown because of this uncertain state of knowledge.

The precautionary principle is that where there are threats or potential threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation.


Article 2. The aim of conservation is to retain the natural significance of a place.

Article 3. Conservation is based on respect for ecosystems , biological diversity and geodiversity , and should involve the least possible physical intervention to ecological processes , evolutionary processes and earth processes .

Article 4. Conservation should make use of all the disciplines and experience that can contribute to the study and safeguarding of a place. Techniques employed should have a firm scientific basis or be supported by relevant experience.

Article 5. Conservation of a place should take into consideration all aspects of its natural significance without unwarranted emphasis on any one aspect at the expense of others.