Adaptive Environmental Management

B_SPR410_Allan (1) PB.inddAWS has contributed two chapters to a book on Adaptive Environmental Management published by Springer and CSIRO.   Conceptually, adaptive management is learning from past management actions to improve future planning and management. However it has proved difficult to achieve in practice.With a view to better practice, the book presents lessons learned from case studies and provides managers with relevant information. Cases studies are drawn from management of protected areas, watersheds and farms, rivers, forests, biodiversity and pests. The AWS contributions describe 1. Indigenous Adaptive management and 2. Adaptive management through Environment Management Systems in Agriculture.

Summaries of chapters follow. See also link to download from Springer

Kuka Kanyini, Australian Indigenous Adaptive Management

In some of the remotest regions of central Australia, Anangu Pitjantjatjara are better managing their land and wildlife resources using adaptive management plans. The plans are based on Kuka Kanyini, which means looking after game animals. Kuka Kanyini draws on traditional land management practices and sets out priorities for scientists to work with Indigenous communities to help them manage their lands themselves. Using these plans as a basis, in this chapter we present a Regional Wildlife Adaptive Management Plan template, RWAMP that can be used to guide other Indigenous communities through an adaptive management planning process. To show how the plan works in practice, we review the progress against Angas Downs’ adaptive management plan as a case study. The RWAMP plan describes strategies and actions that could be used in a ‘predict, do, learn, describe’ Adaptive Management (AM) cycle. The plan contains science-based proactive wildlife management and supports Indigenous law and culture, and the desire to care for the land. It also helps conserve biodiversity and generate new enterprises such as sales of bushtucker and tourism. Importantly, it has wider implications for helping to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage by providing a focus for training and employment, and improving self esteem and health.

Environmental Management Systems as Adaptive Natural Resource Management: Case Studies from Agriculture

There are strong parallels between Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and Adaptive Management (AM); both focus on a cycle of continuous improvement through planning, doing, checking and acting and they both enable the modification of management practices based on monitoring. AM is a science-based structure for natural resource management. The strength of AM is that it brings a scientific approach to the management of complex biological, ecological, economical and social processes and that is what agriculture is. EMS can be based on an international standard. A manager using EMS identifies likely environmental impacts and legal responsibilities and implements and reviews changes and improvements in a structured way. EMS was developed so it could be used in all business sectors. The complexity of issues facing agricultural managers can provide a challenge to the application of EMS within that sector, however at the same time the process involved in developing an EMS can assist greatly in reducing and clarifying the complexity. An understanding and application of AM can also assist the application of EMS in agriculture. Importantly, in both AM and EMS the modifications are continual and can be determined mid-course. This chapter draws on an analysis of a group of 17 agricultural EMS case studies as examples of adaptive management in an industry that uses natural resources.

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