Posted by admin | September 18, 2013
Regardless of the biophysical environment, the one constant is that we are working together and involving people in river and riparian management. This means that we need to invest in listening, understanding and developing joint solutions to problems and challenges, as without this ‘social’ investment there is little likelihood that a project will succeed.
People need to be able to relate to information so that it has meaning for them in their day-to-day lives, this means that we need to merge science and experience to create understanding.
In Australia we have tended to place higher importance on technical or scientific ‘knowledge’, yet the term can be used much broader to cover the knowledge gained from experience. This type of knowledge can be described as ‘cognitive’, that is, knowledge based on what we define as ‘rational’ or ‘logical’. However, this ‘cognitive’ approach to knowledge goes against the reality that most people make decisions on emotional rather than rational grounds.
In most situations it is how someone feels about their land and river that motivates them to act. Feelings are what drive people to relate to their environment in many different ways, for example, through song, dance, drama and poetry. The implications of this for maximsing outcomes in natural resources management is that we need to acknowledge these other ways of ‘knowing’ our land and rivers, and incorporate them into our decision making frameworks.
Profit, Proof, People, Place and Promise
By using a framework called the ‘Five P’s’ it is possible to incorporate the many different factors and experiences that impact upon a person working in natural resources management. The Five P’s stand for: Profit, Proof, People, Place and Promise and were developed to highlight the full range of factors that impact on natural resources management decision making. It is a framework that can be applied at a number of different levels by people working in catchment management and with rural industries.
‘Capacity’ has been a rather ill-defined concept, mainly because it encompasses a range of interrelated elements such as knowledge, skills, networks, norms and values, leadership, etc. Generally, capacity can be defined as an ‘ability to act’.
The ability of individuals and organisations to influence ‘good’ outcomes depends on the extent to which they understand the underlying processes, and have the skills, capabilities and motivation to influence these processes to achieve desired outcomes.
Research has identified 35 ‘dimensions’ of capacity that were commonly identified from the case-study regions around Australia to be important influences on the capacity of regional NRM groups and individuals to effect ‘good’ riparian management. These dimensions encompass issues such as the socio-economic and biophysical context, community values and perceptions, communications and empowerment, the riparian rehabilitation program design, and the way the program delivery is managed.
Capacity assessment tool
Using data gathered from the research project, a ‘capacity assessment tool’ was developed to help program managers, officers and policy makers ‘step through’ and think about capacity issues. The tool can also be used to monitor and evaluate ‘capacity’, or as a facilitation tool to help communities and program managers to identify priorities for capacity building programs.
RipRap — River and Riparian Management Newsletter
RipRap 13 — Benefiting from Overseas Knowledge and Experience
RipRap 15 — Seeing is believing: The value of demonstration sites
RipRap 21 — What are ecosystem services?
RipRap 24 — Building Capacity for river and riparian restoration
RipRap 27 — Connecting Communities
RipRap 28 — Tropical Rivers
RipRap 30 — Knowledge and adoption
RipRap 31 — Wrapping up riparian
Results from demonstration and evaluation projects
Riparian Restoration in the Far South Coast Catchments of New South Wales
Riparian management in the Clarence Catchment of NSW
The importance of large woody debris in sandy river systems
Riparian Restoration in the Blackwood Catchment of Western Australia
Riparian Restoration in the Johnstone River Catchment
Demonstration and Evaluation of Riparian Management — Goulburn Broken region
The Capacity Assessment Tool is designed to help people to think about, and work through, the issues associated with their capacity to engage in riparian restoration works.
Download» Capacity Assessment Tool (windows only)
You can use this power point presentation to reflect local riparian characteristics, by inserting photos and examples from your region.
The powerpoint presentation has notes to accompany each slide, explaining the key point being made and how you might explain it to others.
Download» Assessing Community Capacity for Riparian Restoration Power Point presentation (5.59mb) or the PDF version (2.04 mb).