Building capacity of natural resources managers

Building the capacity of natural resources managers is one of four socially based models that describe how people interact with managing natural resources. They should be considered in association with the three conceptual models that broadly focus on the biophysical systems to get a full picture of what we know about our region.

View the building capacity of natural resources managers model.

About building the capacity of natural resources managers

Natural resources management problems are complex. They often involve difficult trade-offs between alternative land uses, and users. People need the capacity to respond to new challenges as they arise, and to have the knowledge and skills to enable them to be proactive in their response to change.

To improve the environment, those who live and work directly with it have a major role to play, along with government and industry. Investment in people as well as on-ground works is needed to achieve long-term environmental outcomes.

Capacity building is not just a focus on transferring technical information and capability to land managers; it also looks at building human and social capital – the capability of individuals and the social networks and relationships they develop.

The majority of land in the region is held in private ownership. Therefore, the capacity of people to manage their natural resources is critical for meaningful improvements to our natural resources.

A case study: Small landholders helping each other learn

A significant number of land managers in the Central Hills and Fleurieu subregions do not rely on their property for their income. This community is increasing in numbers, and is often referred to as lifestyle or ‘hobby’ famers.

Identifying what is different from this group to commercial land managers, who rely on their properties for income, is critical to identifying the best ways to support them and build their capacity to manage natural resources.

Key for this group is to build their understanding of land management impacts on the whole environment. Therefore, improving stock management practices, knowledge of soil issues and understanding how improvements to land management lead to improved natural resources, is a goal for this sector.

View the case study.


Based on the information collected during a regional planning process and a range of projects that the board has undertaken, a draft list of issues has been developed. This list is constantly evolving. Issues will be added as they become apparent, and as issues are addressed by projects, they will drop off the list. Go to the list of issues regarding building capacity for natural resources managers.

Related links

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges