The great experiment with devolved NRM governance: lessons from community engagement in Australia and New Zealand since the 1980s

Curtis, A. and Ross, H. and Marshall, G. R. and Baldwin, C. and Cavaye, J. and Freeman, C. and Carr, A. and Syme, G. J. (2014) The great experiment with devolved NRM governance: lessons from community engagement in Australia and New Zealand since the 1980s. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 21 (2). pp. 175-199. ISSN 1448-6563

Abstract

Since the 1980s, natural resource management (NRM) in Australia and New Zealand has been an ambitious experiment with community engagement. Underpinned by theory about public participation, adult education and agricultural extension, but also influenced by neoliberalism's calls for 'smaller government', governments embraced engagement as a cost-effective approach to effecting change. Critiques of community engagement are often misguided as they are frequently based on inauthentic or poor engagement practices. Moreover, these critiques have often failed to grasp the nature of the problems being addressed, acknowledge the contributions of engagement or understand the importance of building adaptive capacity to respond to an increasingly complex and uncertain future. The foundations for this commissioned article emerged at a workshop where we reflected and deliberated on our experience as NRM researchers and practitioners over the past 20 years. We begin by identifying the key theories underpinning community engagement and community-based NRM (CBNRM). We then reflect on the experience with community engagement in NRM over the past 20 years and identify key lessons for practitioners and policy makers. Drawing on these insights, and the developing theory around new governance and resilience thinking, we identify opportunities for community engagement under a range of possible futures.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 29 May 2017 06:38
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2018 04:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: Catchment management; Community-based NRM; Landcare; Natural resource management; Participation; Participation and Decision-Making;
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160509 Public Administration
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160605 Environmental Politics
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9499 Other Law, Politics and Community Services > 949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified
C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/14486563.2014.935747
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32230

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