Taking Natural Resource Management Back to the Community
Over recent years increasing attention has been paid to the changing attitude of communities to sustainable development, in particular natural resource management (NRM). One of the recurring themes of this literature is the importance of an integrated approach to environmental management. This paper presents a project that developed an electronic NRM Community Capacity Assessment tool (the tool) to assist communities (including regional NRM Boards) to rate the strength of their regional capacity to deliver NRM programs. NRM worldwide has diverse meanings and is a complex set of perspectives and ideas that are often difficult to define. Understandings and beliefs which underpin NRM range from being strongly conservation with the emphasis on protecting natural resources for their intrinsic, cultural and ecological value through to production-based values with their focus on ameliorating land degradation while successfully maintaining production outputs for economic benefit . The paper highlights via the assessment process, the divergence experienced by rural communities and governments over the role of each group, including the level of governance and the type of engagement necessary for successful NRM.
Keywords: Natural Resource Management, Engagement, Governance, Community Capacity
Dr. Karen Cosgrove
Social Scientist, Program Leader, Rural Solutions SA