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Title: Farmers, voluntary stewardship programs, and collaborative natural resource governance in rural Australia
Contributor(s): Lawson, Andrew  (author)orcid ; Martin, Paul  (supervisor)orcid ; Williams, Jacqueline  (supervisor)orcid ; Monk, Andrew (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2016
Copyright Date: 2016
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Despite large financial investments by governments and farmers, as well as significant inputs of time, effort and goodwill, the ecological, social and productive capacity of the Australian rural environment is under threat. The nature of natural resource problems, the limited capacity of rural communities to solve them, and current and future constraints on governments pose immense challenges of rural natural resource governance. Both traditional governance measures, centred on public laws, and purely private and self-regulatory forms seem unable to meet these challenges. This has spurred interest in collaborative modes, with the hope that they combine the best of both the public and private spheres. Collaborative experiments are already underway in rural Australia, including a model involving the co-opting of voluntary stewardship programs (VSPs) for farmers in natural resource co-regulation. But there is insufficient empirical examination of how such arrangements work in practice. The great hopes attached to the success of collaborative governance are mostly theoretical or based on applications that may not be relevant to rural natural resources in Australia. The lack of empirical validation of collaborative governance is a critical gap. Its practical efficacy may be underestimated or over-hyped. Empirical evaluation of natural resource issues is singularly difficult but, without some evaluation of the collaborative experiments, it will be hard for farmers, environmental organizations, governments, businesses along the agricultural supply chain, and citizens to make informed judgements about whether to embrace or reject collaborative arrangements. This study takes up this challenge by undertaking a preliminary investigation of some of the potential of VSPs for farmers in governance partnerships.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 180111 Environmental and Natural Resources Law
070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
050209 Natural Resource Management
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 480203 Environmental law
440704 Environment policy
300210 Sustainable agricultural development
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 960705 Rural Land Policy
940405 Law Reform
960605 Institutional Arrangements for Environmental Protection
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 190207 Land policy
190205 Environmental protection frameworks (incl. economic incentives)
190206 Institutional arrangements
Rights Statement: Copyright 2016 - Andrew Lawson
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Appears in Collections:Thesis Doctoral

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