Governing community-based natural resource management in Australia: international implications

Dale, Allan, Vella, Karen, Ryan, Sarah, Broderick, Kathleen, Hill, Rosemary, Potts, Ruth, and Brewer, Tom (2020) Governing community-based natural resource management in Australia: international implications. Land, 9 (7). 234.

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Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) has grown in stature as a key component of many national natural resource and rural development governance systems. Despite their growth, the integrity of CBNRM governance systems has rarely been analysed in a national context. To enhance dialogue about how best to design and deploy such systems nationally, this paper analyses the Australian system in detail. The Australian system was selected because the nation has a globally recognised and strong history of CBNRM approaches. We first contextualise the international emergence of national CBRM governance systems before analysing the Australian system. We find that a theoretically informed approach recognising regions as the anchors in brokering multi-scale CBNRM was applied between 2000 and 2007. Subsequent policy, while strengthening indigenous roles, has tended to weaken regional brokering, Commonwealth–state cooperation and research collaboration. Our findings and consequent emerging lessons can inform Australian policy makers and other nations looking to establish (or to reform existing) CBNRM governance systems. Equally, the research approach taken represents the application of an emerging new theoretical framework for analysing complex governance systems.

Item ID: 63873
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2073-445X
Keywords: governance systems; natural resource management; governance reform
Copyright Information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education via the Northern Futures Collaborative Research Network, National Environmental Research Program (NERP)
Projects and Grants: ARC LP130100933 ‘The Impact of Governance on Regional Natural Resource Planning’, NERP “Governance, planning and the effective application of emerging ecosystem service markets: climate change adaptation and landscape resilience” (Project 12.4)
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2020 21:53
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8498 Environmentally Sustainable Mineral Resource Activities > 849899 Environmentally Sustainable Mineral Resource Activities not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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