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Multi-level environmental governance: lessons from Australian natural resource management

Lockwood, M and Davidson, JL and Curtis, A and Stratford, E and Griffith, R (2009) Multi-level environmental governance: lessons from Australian natural resource management. Australian Geographer, 40 (2). pp. 169-186. ISSN 0004-9182

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Abstract

The region has become a significant scale of governance for the implementation
of public policy, including natural resource management (NRM). A community-based
regional NRM governance model has been adopted by the Australian government in
partnership with Australian state and territory governments. There have been persuasive
advocates of this approach both within community organisations and government.
Proponents point to advantages such as the capacity to integrate across social, environmental
and economic issues; improved investment efficiency; ability to establish appropriate
power-sharing and partnership arrangements; better conversion of planning products into
on-ground outcomes; and community learning and capacity building. However, concerns
have also been raised in the academic literature regarding insufficient devolution of power,
lack of downward accountability, exclusion of some stakeholders from decision making, and
inadequate vertical and horizontal integration.We interviewed representatives from each of
the governance levels (national, state, regional) to examine these concerns, and in doing so
identify the strengths and challenges of the Australian experiment with devolved NRM
governance. We synthesise the interview data with insights from the literature and make
observations on the current state of Australian NRM governance. From this analysis, we
identify lessons from the Australian experience to inform the development of multi-level
environmental governance systems.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Governance assessment; good governance principles; natural resource management
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Geographer
Page Range: pp. 169-186
ISSN: 0004-9182
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1080/00049180902964926
Additional Information:

The definitive version is available online at
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content?

Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2010 05:37
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2010 05:37
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