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Raymond C.M.,Charles Sturt University | Raymond C.M.,Enviroconnect Pty Ltd | Cleary J.,University of South Australia
Ecology and Society | Year: 2013

This study presents a self-assessment tool and process that facilitate community capacity building and social learning for natural resource management. The tool and process provide opportunities for rural landholders and project teams both to self-assess their capacity to plan and deliver natural resource management (NRM) programs and to reflect on their capacities relative to other organizations and institutions that operate in their region. We first outline the tool and process and then present a critical review of the pilot in the South Australian Arid Lands NRM region, South Australia. Results indicate that participants representing local, organizational, and institutional tiers of government were able to arrive at a group consensus position on the strength, importance, and confidence of a variety of capacities for NRM categorized broadly as human, social, physical, and financial. During the process, participants learned a lot about their current capacity as well as capacity needs. Broad conclusions are discussed with reference to the iterative process for assessing and reflecting on community capacity. © 2013 by the author(s). Source


Raymond C.M.,Charles Sturt University | Raymond C.M.,Enviroconnect Pty Ltd | Robinson G.M.,University of South Australia
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2013

This study explores the factors affecting rural landholders' adaptation to climate change from the perspectives of formal institutions and communities of practice. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with formal institutions (e.g. South Australian government agencies) and communities of practice (e.g. farm systems groups) within two natural resource management regions in South Australia. Both groups noted that rural landholders autonomously adapt to a variety of risks, including those induced by climate variability; however, the types and levels of adaptation varied among individuals as a result of variety of barriers to adaptation. The lack of communication and engagement processes established between formal institutions and communities of practice was one major barrier. The paper presents and discusses a model for transferring knowledge and information on climate change among formal institutions, communities of practice, trusted individual advisors and rural landholders, and for supporting the co-management of climate change across multiple groups in rural agricultural areas in Australia and elsewhere. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Raymond C.M.,University of South Australia | Raymond C.M.,Enviroconnect Pty Ltd | Fazey I.,University of St. Andrews | Reed M.S.,Aberdeen Center for Environmental Sustainability | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2010

This paper evaluates the processes and mechanisms available for integrating different types of knowledge for environmental management. Following a review of the challenges associated with knowledge integration, we present a series of questions for identifying, engaging, evaluating and applying different knowledges during project design and delivery. These questions are used as a basis to compare three environmental management projects that aimed to integrate knowledge from different sources in the United Kingdom, Solomon Islands and Australia. Comparative results indicate that integrating different types of knowledge is inherently complex - classification of knowledge is arbitrary and knowledge integration perspectives are qualitatively very different. We argue that there is no single optimum approach for integrating local and scientific knowledge and encourage a shift in science from the development of knowledge integration products to the development of problem-focussed, knowledge integration processes. These processes need to be systematic, reflexive and cyclic so that multiple views and multiple methods are considered in relation to an environmental management problem. The results have implications for the way in which researchers and environmental managers undertake and evaluate knowledge integration projects. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Raymond C.M.,Charles Sturt University | Raymond C.M.,Enviroconnect Pty Ltd | Spoehr J.,University of Adelaide
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2013

This study examined how the terms used to describe climate change influence landholder acceptability judgements and attitudes toward climate change at the local scale. Telephone surveys were conducted with landholders from viticultural (n = 97) or cereal growing (n = 195) backgrounds in rural South Australia. A variety of descriptive and inferential statistics were used to examine the influence of human-induced climate change and winter/spring drying trend terms on adaptation responses and uncertainties surrounding climate change science. We found that the terms used to describe climate change leads to significant differences in adaptation response and levels of scepticism surrounding climate change in rural populations. For example, those respondents who accepted human induced climate change as a reality were significantly more likely to invest in technologies to sow crops earlier or increase the amount of water stored or harvested on their properties than respondents who accepted the winter/spring drying trend as a reality. The results have implications for the targeting of climate change science messages to both rural landholders and communities of practice involved in climate change adaptation planning and implementation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Ives C.D.,RMIT University | Biggs D.,University of Queensland | Hardy M.J.,RMIT University | Lechner A.M.,University of Tasmania | And 4 more authors.
Land Use Policy | Year: 2015

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is increasingly used to assess land use plans in a way that is broader in spatial, temporal and conceptual scope than traditional Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Meanwhile, conservation scientists have recognised that successful biodiversity conservation outcomes rely on information about both biological priorities and the feasibility of undertaking conservation actions. SEA provides a framework for integrating information on the social determinants of conservation feasibility with supporting environmental legislation in order to achieve enhanced conservation outcomes. In this paper we argue that data on the social context of land use plans are vital to ensure effective biodiversity conservation outcomes that result from SEAs. We explore the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) (EPBC Act) as a case example of how the integration of these data can be practically achieved within an existing legal process. While a range of social data is relevant to this type of assessment, we focus on the use of spatially-referenced social data in the context of land use planning. When applied to the design and implementation of land use plans, this type of information can improve the acceptability of conservation actions, enhance environmental stewardship, and minimise land use conflict through taking stock of the values and attitudes (precursors to behaviour) that are relevant to proposed land use change and conservation action. Through exploring the integration of these data into each of the stages of SEA under the EPBC Act, we show that opportunities exist to strengthen the effectiveness of SEA in delivering conservation outcomes without altering existing legal processes. Yet, for this to be done effectively, practitioners need to be cognisant of a range of theoretical and methodological challenges related to the generation and interpretation of these data, as well as the socio-political context in which they are applied. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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