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A broader approach to common resource management: Landcare and Integrated Catchment Management in Queensland, Australia

Research reports

The purpose of the paper is to explore various definitions and assumptions about common resource management and to discuss where the organisations Landcare and Integrated Catchment Management in Australia fit with these. The paper will also present results of investigations of the contribution these organisations have made to the management of common resources, focusing particularly on the State of Queensland. Landcare and Integrated Catchment Management are community participative organisations with a diverse membership that includes primary producers, nature conservationists, government and industry. They involve all members of the community in the decision-making process for the management of catchments.

Both these organisations mould together private use of land for agriculture with a philosophy that all land is held in trust for the use of future generations of human and other life. They do this by planning for long-term, sustainable use of land at a catchment level and use public and private funds to implement the plans at a property level. Members of the organisations work together, and work with government bodies, to share information about best practice and to make incremental steps towards sustainable land use. Nature conservation groups are part of both organisations and contribute to the thinking about what is current best practice for the needs of wildlife. They also help to implement the plans using both public funds and private donations of cash or kind. However, the planning and implementation of the plans drawn up by Landcare and Integrated Catchment Management can be problematic for a number of reasons, including the lack of involvement of local industry and government.

Kate Roberts and Jeff Coutts