Social Learning: A complementary approach to managing water at the catchment scale in Victoria, Australia

Abstract : While the Australian landscape is renowned as being old, flat and salty', water underpins the wellbeing of Australian society, its economic development and unique biodiversity. Despite this, legislation, policy tools and market driven strategies intended to protect and enhance Australia's natural water resources have been disjointed, predominantly used in isolation and remain insufficient to catalyze sustainable water management. Inspired by the limitations of commonly used policy tools and its successful use internationally, a social learning approach to managing water at the catchment scale is gaining prominence. Comprehensive evidence exists to suggest that, as a complementary policy tool, large scale individual and institutional change can be achieved through deliberate investment in social learning at the catchment scale. Drawing on the findings to date of a co-operative inquiry undertaken with the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA), in south-west Victoria (Australia), this paper will examine the conducive and constraining factors for using and facilitating a social learning approach as a complementary management tool for integrated catchment management in Australia. It will also discuss the extent to which, and in what ways enhanced social learning for catchment sustainability contributes to broader policy objectives such as building the social capital that underpins resilient and sustainable communities, and improvements in the conservation status of natural resources.
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Katelyn Samson. Social Learning: A complementary approach to managing water at the catchment scale in Victoria, Australia. 8th World Wide Workshop for Young Environmental Scientists WWW-YES-2008: Urban waters: resource or risks?, May 2008, Créteil, France. ⟨hal-00593633⟩

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