Not Waiting for a Rainy Day: Professional Development to Promote Informed and Engaged Catchment Communities
Managers and decision-makers are under increasing pressure to engage community members along with experts in considering and resolving environmental degradation. This is especially the case with respect to decisions concerning water quality and quantity in Australia. The commitment of citizens and government to sustainable catchment management and their willingness to participate actively in an authentic and inclusive decision-making process is critical to ensuring a healthy future complete with clean and sufficient water supply. This process must involve social learning by all stakeholders because we all use water. Indeed, the water crisis stems from all of our lifestyle choices (Robinson, 2001). This article examines a national workshop series conducted collaboratively by research, industry, and community organizations during 2002 to foster informed community involvement in environmental decision-making. This reflective case study articulates the rationale for the workshop series and lessons learned. Two main themes shape the discussion: professional development for water educators, and an informed and engaged community.
Applied Environmental Education and Communication