Future strategic investment into natural resource management (NRM) within the Avon River basin is essential to assist the community to maintaining the health and prosperity of the natural environment. The Wheatbelt Regional NRM Strategy enables and guides NRM investment within the region, and therefore reflects community values and objectives in identifying areas where investment is likely to have the most significant and long-lasting influence in achieving NRM outcomes. In achieving this objective, the strategy:
- Reflects community views
- Integrates current scientific knowledge
- Describes system elements (stressors, land management and resource impacts)
- Defines resource condition where possible
- Identifies pressure points and gaps
- Defines an appropriate response.
The last Wheatbelt Regional NRM strategy was developed in 2005 (WNRM 2005), largely guided by the investment principles of the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP) and the National Heritage Trust (NHT). Since 2005, there have been significant changes in the political and investment landscape relating to NRM, prompting a revision of the Regional NRM Strategy.
The review of the Regional NRM Strategy incorporates principles of resilience and adaptive management in considering the environmental, socio-economic and political landscape influencing NRM within the Wheatbelt region. Adaptive management approaches have been successfully applied to NRM in Australia and overseas across a wide range of environments (Hauser & Possingham 2008, Brodie et al. 2007, Australian Forestry 2011, LWA 2009, ICEWRM 2011, Gilmour et al. 1999).
The adoption of a systems-based approach for reviewing the Wheatbelt Regional NRM Strategy was intended to provide a fresh perspective and avoid the constraints associated with the development of previous strategies.