Enhancing the role of local government in cooperative natural resource management

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Title Enhancing the role of local government in cooperative natural resource management
Author Low Choy, Darryl Charles; Maccheroni, Anna
Editor R MacKenzie
Year Published 2006
Place of publication Indooroopliiy
Publisher Coastal CRC
Abstract The current regional community-based framework for natural resource management (NRM) has provided challenges and opportunities for improving the uptake of NRM at local government level. These initiatives have potentially strong links to local government's existing statutory and institutional frameworks for environmental planning and management processes and practices. This project was a collaborative research project of the Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management (Coastal CRC) in partnership with the Environmental Planning Group (Griffith University) and a number of regional NRM bodies. It was undertaken as an action research program using a longitudinal study with three selected NRM regional bodies as collaborating research partners. The project's regional NRM case study partners (CSPs) were: " South East Queensland Western Catchments Group Incorporated (Queensland); " Far North Queensland Natural Resource Management Limited (Queensland); and " Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority (Victoria). These three regions contain a wide diversity of urban and rural local governments which vary significantly in physical size, population, resources, internal capacity and commitments to planning. At the commencement of this project in 2005, these three NRM bodies were implementing or starting to implement their accredited regional NRM plans. However, there was not a full commitment from local government to take up all of the NRM responsibilities assigned to them in these plans. In fact, there was a wide variation across the regions of local government involvement in the preparation of these regional NRM plans. Evidence suggests there was an expectation that all of the stakeholders (including local government) would automatically implement their assigned NRM responsibilities under these regional NRM plans. These observations accord with the literature which confirms that continuous renegotiations are normal and should always be part of the ongoing implementation phase of the planning process. There is also strong evidence that the plan implementers should always be part of the plan-making phase. Enhancing the role of local government in cooperative regional natural resource management 2 The research has highlighted a range of barriers and capacity deficiencies that constrain local government from fully embracing their assigned NRM responsibilities. The study also noted that many of the local government NRM responsibilities were already being undertaken but in different programs and in different forms to that defined in the regional NRM plans. Hence there is an immediate need to review the NRM capacity and undertakings of each local government with the intention that the regional NRM bodies commence renegotiations with the local government authorities in their region. The research has highlighted the urgent need for each regional NRM body to commence this renegotiation process on an individual basis with each local authority in its region. Agreements reached in these renegotiations should be confirmed in a Memorandum of Understanding supported by a local government engagement strategy and annual action plans. These initiatives should be supported by the results of the review of the NRM capacity of each local government. The major intention of these initiatives should be to improve NRM uptake by local government to the point where the relevant mutually agreed NRM priorities of the regional NRM plans are transferred into the normal planning and management processes and practices of local government. This should be undertaken in the context of a collaborative implementation arrangement for the regional NRM plan and should involve all regional stakeholders. To support these principal recommendations, this project has developed a number of tools to assist both the regional bodies and local government. In particular, this set of web-based tools is designed to allow local government to enhance their
Peer Reviewed No
Published Yes
Volume 78
ISBN 1 921017 61 9
Date Accessioned 2007-03-21
Language en_AU
Research Centre Urban Research Program
Faculty Faculty of Environmental Sciences
Subject Other Architecture, Urban Environment and Building
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/12669
Publication Type Books (Authored Other)
Publication Type Code a2

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