Australian Government - Land & Water Australia

Identifying and Characterising the Social Assets of the Natural Resource Management System

This project was managed by the Social and Institutional Research Program area within Land and Water Australia. The project was funded by the Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust (NHT)


Achieving natural resource management (NRM) outcomes, such as for example reducing salinity, improving water quality and protecting native vegetation; requires the involvement of individuals, groups and organisations. However, while NRM funding, policies and programs are often directed at individuals, groups and organisations within the NRM system their roles and interrelationships are not always clearly identifiable or understood.

Establishing a framework which identifies and improves our understanding of the social attributes of the NRM system has important implications in better targeting NRM funding and NRM policy and program development and implementation.

Those social attributes which influence the achievement of NRM outcomes are referred to as social assets and include those social and economic attributes of the NRM system which ‘enable’ or ‘inhibit’ the achievement of NRM outcomes.

Project objectives

The primary objective of this project was to identify, assess and characterise the social assets in the natural resource management (NRM) system. The project was expected to inform the development of NRM initiatives, policies and programs by:


The methodology was based on three phases which included:

As this was the first time a project of this type has been undertaken it had national focus. If successful and considered appropriate the project could assist local and regional level analysis to be undertaken in the future.

Project Reports

  1. Final Social Assets in NRM Report [1.1MB]
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