What is Natural Resource Management?
NRM stands for Natural Resource Management and is used to refer to the industry in which QMDC operates, and the work we do. NRM is the sustainable, long-term management of our environmental (or natural) resources, like soil, water and vegetation.
NRM is not purely about environmentalism, but is more of a community approach to protecting our landscape for the future. The NRM industry, of which QMDC is a part, builds on the Landcare movement, supporting the ‘caring for country’ concept that most rural communities have employed for generations.
Most importantly, NRM looks at how to manage natural resources in a way that also supports the economic and social needs of Australian communities.
What is the Regional NRM Plan?
The Regional NRM Plan is a framework to guide coordinated and holistic planning and on-ground action to improve the management and condition of the natural resources in the NRM Plan area. The NRM Plan identifies and prioritises objectives, together with innovative management actions to help us reach them. Management actions focus on motivating changes in land use and in production and environmental management practices, protecting and conserving regional and catchment environmental values and, as appropriate, undertaking activities to arrest degradation and rehabilitate degraded areas.
Where does the Plan cover?
The Maranoa-Balonne and Border Rivers catchments encompass a total of just over 10 million hectares of predominately agricultural land use and makes up a large portion of the region known as the Queensland Murray Darling Basin. With a population of approximately 44,000, the area is serviced by a number of major towns and centres, and contributes substantially to the Queensland economy through its major industries of agriculture and mining. Read more here.
Why is the Plan important?
This region has had a detailed NRM Plan since 1998 (which also incorporated the South West NRM catchments of Warrego, Paroo and Bulloo at that time) and this current iteration represents changes in knowledge, changes in technology, changes in community expectations and changes in climatic realities. The NRM Plan is a way of capturing community expectations, community hopes and community actions toward improving the resilience of the Maranoa-Balonne and Border Rivers catchments.
The NRM Plan sits between ‘bottom-up’ community planning and ‘top-down’ institutional planning, and has elements of both integrated into it. It recognises the necessity and importance of other plans and strategies and is not intended to either replicate or replace Corporate or Community Planning at a Regional Council level. Each level of planning is intended to reinforce and enhance the capacity and likely success of the other levels.
The NRM Plan deals with regionally significant natural resource assets, issues and processes, while supporting the planning processes of catchment and sub-catchment groups, which deal with problems at a more localised level. It works in the other direction, too, as part of a larger ecosystem, in recognition that human activities in one area have an impact on life in other areas.
Because of need to deal with such significant issues and processes as part of the entirety of activity within the region, this is a living Plan, adapting as needed, when needed.
Why do we need to consider the potential impacts of climate change?
The Plan specifically considers the impact of climate change on the region and identifies key strategies for improved natural resource management in the face of a changing climate. Read more here.
Why are there so many assets?
Sustainability is only achieved by considering every theme area collectively as part of the land management decision making process. This Plan considers the main assets of Community Capital, Aboriginal and Traditional Owner Interests and Cultural Assets, Land & Soils, Water & Wetlands, Vegetation & Biodiversity, Weeds & Pest Animals, Energy & Resources, Waste and Institutional Frameworks. Read more here.
How will the Plan be used?
This plan highlights the opportunities for improved learning and understanding. Most importantly, however, it focusses upon the areas requiring our critical attention. The vision for the Plan is one of universal adoption across the region; that it will help shape planning and decision making at all levels that impact on Natural Resource Management – from primary schools to universities, local community groups to governments and of land managers and land carers from all sectors of the economy. QMDC will use this Plan as its guiding document, and encourages others to also fully utilise the curated knowledge.
What is QMDC’s role?
QMDC is one of Queensland’s 14 natural resource management organisations who work with the whole community to ensure the long-term sustainability and viability of the region’s landscapes and communities. You can read more about QMDC here. QMDC views itself as the custodian of this Plan – the biographers of a story and vision that belongs not the Committee who have facilitated its development, but to the community that it represents; the same community that developed its content. From an organisational perspective, however, the revision of this plan has provided an opportunity to reflect upon our achievements in the years since the first Plan’s inception, but also identify how dramatically the natural, social and economic environments in which we are delivering our services have altered during the past decade.