Rural producers, natural resource managers and conservation managers face a constantly changing set of climatic and human influences. Traditional land production systems and environmental management are under pressure. New approaches to production and natural resource management are required in the face of government financial resource and capacity constraints, as well as the intensifying environmental challenges.
Expert advice and technical reports on climate-change adaptation have been provided to Government since the early 2000’s. However, with some exceptions, on-ground natural resource management has yet to reflect the new challenges. Further, some city-based community expectations of environmental management do not match the contemporary regional condition on farms or in conservation reserves.
Potential management and philosophical challenges for both the broader community and conservation managers arise from:
- the need for urban communities to fund the provision of ecosystem services by rural land managers;
- the use of stock grazing as a tool in managing the conservation estate;
- an increasing involvement of private-sector conservation management;
- the reality that maintaining environmental values alongside exotic and pest plant and animal species is complex and difficult to achieve; and
- accepting the inevitable loss or modification of some ecosystems.
This symposium sought to explore pathways to practical and effective natural resource and conservation management in regional Queensland. A key theme that arose from the proceedings was the need for a new societal accord:
- that recognises the universality of the global challenges, and is not focused on consumerism, domination and individualism (Ian Lowe, 1.0 Towards a sustainable Queensland);
- that includes institutional understanding of community values, whilst being sensitive to the evolution of community goas as they evolve (John Martin; 6.0 Governance challenges and opportunities);
- that incorporates local solutions that provide viable regional outcomes at variance with traditional governmental interests (Trevor Berrill 7.0 The renewable energy revolution, Adam Clarke 8.0 Co-existence; a new regional partnership).