Natural resource management

 

Natural resource management refers to the management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, plants and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations (stewardship).
Natural resource management deals with managing the way in which people and natural landscapes interact. It brings together land use planning, water management, biodiversity conservation, and the future sustainability of industries like agriculture, mining, tourism, fisheries and forestry. It recognises that people and their livelihoods rely on the health and productivity of our landscapes, and their actions as stewards of the land play a critical role in maintaining this health and productivity.
In the United States, the most active areas of natural resource management are wildlife management often associated with ecotourism and rangeland management. In Australia, water sharing, such as the Murray Darling Basin Plan and catchment management are also significant.
This gives transparency and clarity to policy making allowing stakeholders to recognise conflicts of interest and facilitate resolutions. There are numerous stakeholder theories such as Mitchell et al. however Grimble created a framework of stages for a Stakeholder Analysis in natural resource management. Grimble designed this framework to ensure that the analysis is specific to the essential aspects of natural resource management.
Natural resource management issues are inherently complex. They involve the ecological cycles, hydrological cycles, climate, animals, plants and geography, etc. All these are dynamic and inter-related. A change in one of them may have far reaching and/or long term impacts which may even be irreversible. In addition to the natural systems, natural resource management also has to manage various stakeholders and their interests, policies, politics, geographical boundaries, economic implications and the list goes on. It is a very difficult to satisfy all aspects at the same time. This results in conflicting situations.
The community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) approach combines conservation objectives with the generation of economic benefits for rural communities. The three key assumptions being that: locals are better placed to conserve natural resources, people will conserve a resource only if benefits exceed the costs of conservation, and people will conserve a resource that is linked directly to their quality of life. When a local people's quality of life is enhanced, their efforts and commitment to ensure the future well-being of the resource are also enhanced. Regional and community based natural resource management is also based on the principle of subsidiarity.
CBNRM is based particularly on advocacy by nongovernmental organizations working with local groups and communities, on the one hand, and national and transnational organizations, on the other, to build and extend new versions of environmental and social advocacy that link social justice and environmental management agendas with both direct and indirect benefits observed including a share of revenues, employment, diversification of livelihoods and increased pride and identity. Ecological and societal successes and failures of CBNRM projects have been documented. CBNRM has raised new challenges, as concepts of community, territory, conservation, and indigenous are worked into politically varied plans and programs in disparate sites. Warner and Jones address strategies for effectively managing conflict in CBNRM.