The changing prominence of coastal NRM in Australia

A/Prof. Beverley Clarke1, Professor Nick Harvey1,2

1Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, 2University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia


Since the 1980s NRM in Australia has been an ‘ambitious’ experiment with community engagement and governance innovation. NRM in Australia has now entered a fourth phase. Governance of NRM is complex and requires the engagement of numerous organisations at a range of scales. Mechanisms for coordinating NRM policy and programs across government departments have been noted previously as having variable effectiveness across Australia. While terrestrial NRM programs have been thoroughly reviewed over time, coastal NRM programs have not. This paper will provide an overview of NRM transitions and the impact on coastal programs across Australia, comparing and contrasting strategic vision, coordination mechanisms and NRM impact/effectiveness on coastal environments and communities between and within Australian states.


Beverley Clarke, is a geographer, researching both formal and informal processes affecting policy, decision-making and outcomes for the environment. She is recognised for her research on community engagement, policy evaluation, capacity building, policy implications of coastal climate change, and the social dimensions of natural resource management. She has worked throughout Australia with many different stakeholder groups including all tiers of government, NGOs and the community. Her research has been noted for its direct impact and value to industry both nationally and locally. Beverley is recognised in Australia for her leadership in championing Geography (e.g. President of the IAG) and the coast (e.g. Branch Chair and Secretary of the Australian Coastal Society).