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Multi-level Governance and On-farm Adoption of Conservation Practices in Three Australian Regions

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Marshall, Graham R.
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1190
Sector: Agriculture
Social Organization
Region: Pacific and Australia
Subject(s): agriculture
participatory management
natural resources
resource management
Abstract: "Significant steps have occurred in Australia towards devolving responsibilities for natural resource management (NRM) to community-based regional bodies, especially in motivating farmers to adopt priority conservation practices. A challenge remains in effectively engaging the large populations covered by these bodies. Following previous research indicating the value of nested multi-level (i.e. polycentric) governance in addressing such challenges, this paper examines whether nested systems can confer advantages by strengthening farmers cooperation with the regional delivery model. This examination involved double-censored regression analyses of data from mail-out farmer surveys in three regions. The findings suggest that community-based approaches are capable under the regional delivery model of motivating greater cooperation from farmers than otherwise possible. They highlight the importance of farmers coming to adopt reciprocity strategies in their key relationships under this model. It seems subregional bodies have an advantage over regional bodies in eliciting such behaviour from farmers because the former are better positioned to engage them effectively. This indicates the value of a polycentric approach to community-based NRM within regions, at least where capacities below the regional level justify devolution of significant responsibilities to lower levels in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity."

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