A Conceptual Model of Community Capacity for Biodiversity Conservation Outcomes
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In Australia an unprecedented level of attention is being paid to improving the sustainable management of agricultural lands. As of 2005, the Australian government had committed over four billion dollars to land, water and biodiversity management programmes. Most is being allocated to regional community groups. Central to programme delivery is attention to community capacity and the desire to build capacity to implement changes in land and water management. This paper addresses the fundamentally important question 'what is community capacity?' through developing and refining a conceptual model of community capacity to deliver biodiversity conservation outcomes. Model development was based on a literature review and synthesis, with subsequent refinement using interviews. From the literature, community capacity was described as five forms of capital: natural, social, human, institutional and produced economic. The model was refined using interviews with Greening Australia (an environmental non-government organisation) field staff. Their responses identified all five forms of capital as important elements of community capacity. Social and human capital were mentioned by almost all respondents, with limited mention being made of the other capitals. Social capital included cognitive and structural dimensions. Knowledge, skills and experience were part of human capital. These results provide researchers and practitioners with assurance that social and human capital indicators can be confidently sought to describe capacity. There is also sufficient guidance from these results to progress indicator selection for the remaining forms of capital provided that selection is accompanied by continuing refinement of our descriptions of these forms.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Environmental Science|
|Copyright:||© 2006 Institute of Australian Geographers|
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