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Integrated Area Wide Management: A model for achieving NRM practice change

Ian Rankine1, Bill Wilkinson2 and Julie Ferguson3

1 4T Consultants, Emerald, Email 2 NRM&E, Emerald, Email 3 DPI&F, Pittsworth, Email


Integrated Area Wide Management (IAWM) is a collaborative approach to natural resource management (nrm) that has been operating in Emerald (Central Queensland) for the past three years. Case studies have now commenced on the Downs and Border Rivers area. This paper will discuss the successes and ongoing challenges of implementing IAWM and landscape management within rural communities.

IAWM provides a ‘safe’ environment where data and knowledge from a range of sources can be integrated and exchanged to provide relevant, comprehensive information to landowners and other natural resource managers. This enables development of ‘locally owned’, community of interest driven strategies. It provides the means to combine knowledge and information from both private and public sectors, in a manner that sees it used effectively to improve decision-making by landholders. Better information leads to better decisions.

IAWM seeks to fill ‘gaps’ in existing knowledge and information, and via genuine in-field engagement, build capacity and motivation of landowners to become more proactive, address relevant nrm issues and demonstrate good custodianship of the land. A core component involves implementing an effective monitoring, action and response system for nrm, in which landholders and industry have a strong leadership role. It provides for cost efficiencies in condition and trend monitoring and information access, and it positions landholders so they are able to act on problem areas if they arise. Quite simply, the participation of landowners is fundamental to the success of the IAWM concept as is the precept - If you don’t measure it you can’t monitor it, and if you don’t monitor it you can’t manage it. Equally so, if you don’t manage the information related to monitoring, you are not managing your business.

Key Words

Integrated area wide management, Natural resources, landholders, monitoring, integrated information, learning environment

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