An approach for adaptive and integrated agricultural planning to deal with uncertainty in a Great Barrier Reef Catchment
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There has been a growing trend towards integrated regional ecosystem approaches in theory and practice to (1) better understand the behaviour of complex social-ecological systems, (2) for holistic state-of-the-environment monitoring of social, economic, institutional and environmental conditions and trends to adapt governance towards achieving resilience, and (3) as the basis for multi-scalar policy collaborations between government and non-government sectors to find solutions to sustainability problems. Drawing on the Authors' regional NRM expertise, this paper presents the ABCD framework for adaptive and integrated agricultural planning to deal with uncertainty developed in the Wet Tropics region within the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Northern Australia. The paper briefly describes collaborative efforts led by the regional NRM body to translate complex, unclear, and overlapping institutional arrangements for environmental sustainability into a simple practice-based framework that defines the environmental duty of care for agriculture as well as the forward actions necessary to secure improved environmental outcomes. The framework integrates regional stakeholder interests and values horizontally within the region to overcome issues of science and policy uncertainty. Vertically, the framework integrates government environmental policy across jurisdictional scales within the GBR including initiatives of the Australian and Queensland Governments and global environmental policy for the eco-accreditation of sugar cane products. The framework has also positioned the region's farmers as global leaders in environmental management. We propose that this approach has utility within agricultural systems and beyond to (a) identify and implement on-ground solutions to sustainability problems within a context of uncertainty, (b) support scalable monitoring and modelling of environmental, social and economic conditions and trends, and (c) evaluate the efficacy of solutions and governance arrangements and identify adaptive strategies and approaches as necessary.
World Planning Schools Congress 2011: Planning in an era of uncertainty and transformation
© 2011 ANZAPS. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the conference's website for access to the definitive, published version
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Natural Resource Management