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Using adaptive governance to rethink the way science supports Australian drought policy

Citation

Nelson, R and Howden, M and Smith, MS, Using adaptive governance to rethink the way science supports Australian drought policy, Environmental Science and Policy, 11, (7) pp. 588-601. ISSN 1462-9011 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2008.06.005

Abstract

In this paper we show how ideas from a longstanding but little recognised literature on adaptive governance can be used to rethink the way science supports Australian drought policy. We compare and contrast alternative ways of using science to support policy in order to critique traditional commentary on Australian drought policy. We find that criticism from narrow disciplinary and institutional perspectives has provided few practical options for policy makers managing these complex and interacting goals. In contrast, ideas from a longstanding but little recognised literature on adaptive governance have potential to create innovative policy options for addressing the multiple interacting goals of Australian drought policy. From an adaptive governance perspective, the deep concern held by Australian society for rural communities affected by drought can be viewed as a common property resource that can be sustainably managed by governments in cooperation with rural communities. Managing drought assistance as a common property resource can be facilitated through nested and polycentric systems of governance similar to those that have already evolved in other arenas of natural resource management in Australia, such as Landcare groups and Catchment Management Authorities. Essential to delivering these options is the creation of flexible, regionally distributed scientific support for drought policy capable of integrating local knowledge and informing the livelihood outcomes of critical importance to governments and rural communities. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Adaptive governance; Centralised expert management; Climate; Drought policy; Science/policy engagement; article; Australia; catchment; centralization; climate change; conceptual framework; cooperation; drought; environmental economics; policy
Research Division:Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
Research Field:Sustainable Agricultural Development
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Land and Water Management
Objective Field:Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management
Author:Nelson, R (Associate Professor Rohan Nelson)
ID Code:84766
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:95
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2013-05-30
Last Modified:2015-02-04
Downloads:0

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