2010 stakeholder consultative forum
Australian Government Land and Coasts Division executives met with representatives of natural resource management groups, NGOs, industry bodies, Indigenous organisations and Landcare groups as well as Federal, Local and State government partners on Thursday 11 November 2010. The purpose of the forum was to discuss the Caring for our Country initiative and seek views about Commonwealth natural resource management policy and its future implementation.
The stakeholder consultative forum is part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to outline policies and activities as they relate to natural resource management and seek the views and experiences of key stakeholders.
The forum also launched the consultation process for the Australian Government Land and Coast’s review of Caring for our Country.
Key themes from the 2010 stakeholder consultative forum
A summary of the key themes expressed at the 2010 stakeholder consultative forum is outlined below.
- The approach of specific and measurable targets at the national level imposed a number of challenges for stakeholders.
- Discrete and seemingly unconnected targets can compromise the development of integrated proposals addressing multiple outcomes at a landscape scale.
- National targets need to be relevant at regional and local scales for the development of good quality proposals.
- Consultative and transparent target setting, to build an understanding of the rationale underpinning specific national targets, is important for the ultimate adoption of targets by stakeholders and engagement of the community.
- Although Caring for our Country sought to foster collaboration and facilitate the building of partnerships there is a feeling that partnerships, including financial collaborations, have been difficult to develop and maintain under Caring for our Country.
- The open call fostered a more competitive environment than expected.
- There is a high risk investing effort and resources into developing partnerships in the proposal development stage if the proposal is not ultimately successful.
- Partnerships developed in response to the business plan are on paper but not necessarily real or sustainable.
- Community engagement and participation is essential to achieving Caring for our Country outcomes.
- To effectively facilitate community engagement, Caring for our Country needs to support stand-alone capacity building and engagement targets.
- Small grants are important to enable small community groups to access Caring for our Country.
- The level of effort required by the application process should be relative to the amount of funding being sought, the amount of funding available and the likelihood of securing a grant.
- Regional natural resource management plans provide an important framework to direct on-ground investments.
- Alignment of national, state and regional plans and targets would lead to improved and more efficient delivery mechanisms and better outcomes including better community engagement.
- Improved collaboration between Australian Government and state agencies would enable better coordination of funding and support wide-scale community and organisation capacity building.
Natural resource management policy directions
- A national natural resource management policy/framework would help align targets and planning at national, state and regional scales and drive collaboration between natural resource management stakeholders.
- Natural resource management programs needs to be integrated across themes and scales.
- Effective natural resource management requires a ‘Whole of Government’ approach integrating cultural, social and environmental outcomes.
An outline for the future 2013-2018
An Outline for the Future sets out the broad framework for the next five years of Caring for our Country and forms the basis for community feedback over the coming eight weeks.
Review of Caring for our Country
The final report from the Caring for our Country review was released on 18 April 2012.