Community and NRM theme

The term community has many meanings but it is defined here as the community living and working in the Great Southern. Everyone has a role in managing the natural resources of the region, whether it involves using dieback hygiene measures for vehicles, adopting urban water efficiency measures, active participation in a local community stewardship program, or through a large-scale catchment group activity. Although there are many programs for community engagement in the Great Southern there is still a need to improve methods for increasing awareness, changing behaviour and evaluating practice change. Although much of the NRM activity in the past has focussed on agricultural areas, most of the people in the Great Southern live in urban areas and urbanization is increasing. It is therefore also important to consider how to engage urban citizens in NRM, how to improve urban planning and the impact of urban communities on natural resources.

Community Engagement and Practice Change

Although some of the community are involved in NRM a large proportion are still unaware of some of the major NRM problems in the region. It is important to engage the community much more widely and to determine whether measures designed increase awareness and change behaviour are actually changing NRM practices.

Research objectives

  • Development of better methods for community engagement
  • Development of methods for monitoring and evaluation of behaviour and practice change
  • Understanding barriers to behaviour change
  • Documentation of oral histories, attitudes and values about natural resources and their management

Urban Communities, Design and Planning

Research objectives

  • Establishment of ecological footprints for regional communities
  • Assessment of environmental implications of growth or change
  • Establishment of best practice urban design, energy efficiency
  • Finding ways to improve urban planning
  • Development, documentation of stewardship models for urban biodiversity conservation and management
  • Determining the impact of climate change on urban communities