Natural resource management and social capital: piloting a collaborative auditing and monitoring tool for assessing regional, industry and community development
McGuire, P, Natural resource management and social capital: piloting a collaborative auditing and monitoring tool for assessing regional, industry and community development, School of Geography & Environmental Studies Conference 2011, 28-29 June 2011, Hobart, pp. x-x. (2011) [Conference Extract]
Researchers have reiterated that the community engagement, community development and socio-cultural dimensions of sustainable forest managment (SFM), and natural resource management (NRM) in general are under-represented in policy and practice:(Dare 2009; Schirmer 2009;Williams 2009; Buchy & Race 2001; Moore et al.2006; Stratford and Davidson 2004; Lockwood et al. 2010).
This study builds on the community development, natural resource management (NRM) and 'good governance' principles and prescriptions to develop a conceptual framework to examine community development (CD) perspectives on NRM (sustainable forest managment (SFM)) activities. The framework offers a unique way of integrating current land use planning decision support tools; (forest practices plans, environmental assessments, stream and land class, classification data. The CD component consists of established (SFM, NRM governance) prescriptions - participation, values, employment, skills criteria, as well as local community surveys to assess how these 'ideals' resound with the community of interest. The socio-economic component consists of company (accreditation) and council (forest practices plans, tenure) documents. The model incorporates all three dimensions of regional NRM into a central database. Land use planners, governance agencies and the general public alike can access the socio-ecological, economic and social dimensions or forest development(NRM) within (and beyond) their region at the touch of a button (database) - an equitable and inclusive decision support tool and information stream that builds into a cannon of regional, and community develoment data sets (and related links) which can be utilised to monitor, as well as map regional community development across time and space. Governance institutions (legislative, industrial)can design sustainable policies, and programs (educational, liaison) around this data, hence more sustainable landscapes and communities.