University of Tasmania

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A resilience-based approach to regional natural resource management planning in NSW

posted on 2023-05-27, 18:32 authored by Parkes, Claire
Natural resource management programs around Australia are led, coordinated and implemented by regionally-based organisations. In New South Wales (NSW) the thirteen catchment management authorities have legislative responsibilities to prepare strategic catchment plans that coordinate and integrate the natural resource management activities of community and government. These plans are about to be revised and new approaches to planning practice are being sought and explored. Resilience theory is an emerging field of research and practice that is being proposed by some institutions as a new and potentially worthwhile approach to dealing with complexity, uncertainty and inevitable future change. Resilience theory conceptualise problems as evolving from complex and interlinked social-ecological systems. It identifies those areas in systems where resilience may be being undermined and therefore could tip into another system state, or where a system may be currently stuck in an undesirable but resilient state and therefore requires active transformation. The aim of this study was to explore how resilience principles and methods could be applied to a specific planning project - the preparation of an integrated catchment plan. It also aimed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of resilience thinking in this context, and identify implications for natural resources policy in NSW. The study found that resilience concepts are is best applied within an overall strategic planning process that is familiar to the planning agency and that derives elements from rational, collaborative, integrative and adaptive planning theories, rather than using resilience thinking as an allencompassing approach to developing the plan. It found that the greatest strengths of resilience thinking are in its systems-based approach to problem definition, and in its ability to provide a strong rationale for the management actions selected. Although many aspects of a resilience-based approach are familiar to many natural resource managers, there are still challenges for the wider uptake of a resilience approach in natural resource management in NSW. These include a perception that natural resource management is limited to the biophysical and ecological rather than the social and economic, accountability arrangements that are not conducive to adaptive management and the challenges in garnering commitment to an approach that represents a shift away from the dominant natural resource management paradigm.


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Copyright 2010 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). This Thesis is an uncorrected text as submitted for examination. Thesis (MEnvPlg)--University of Tasmania, 2011. Includes bibliographical references

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