A framework for sustainable rangeland livelihoods

CSIRO Publishing
Publication Year: 
Natural environments around the world shape their human residents, whose land management practices in turn shape their natural environments. The trial-and-error process of learning how to live within a human-environment system is costly for lands and for people. However, groups who have lived in the same type of place over long periods of time have often developed similar practices. For 20 years, sustainable livelihood frameworks have been used to identify those effective practices and to make them clear to others. I developed the Sustainable Rangeland Framework (SRF) by comparing scientific reports, pastoral management plans, Aboriginal experiences and government programs to identify how very different rangeland landholders could work together to benefit our human-environment system. The SRF focuses on ways to build valuable assets. I found that all groups described six similar categories of assets: landscape, biodiversity, flexibility, skill, information and networks. Land managers use their assets to develop strategies that increase sustainability and reduce vulnerability to risk. The SRF helps land managers visualise how each decision balances productivity and vulnerability in the context of ecological, economic and social variability. I provide a set of six measures for groups to evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies in building stronger assets. Because the SRF clarifies the learning process and highlights the benefits of collaboration, rangeland groups can use this model to work together to develop more secure lives in our increasingly unpredictable environment.
Name of Journal: 
The Rangeland Journal
Resource Type: 
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Australian Rangeland Society

Includes full-text resources emanating from a complete set of Australian Rangelands Society Proceedings, journal articles from The Rangelands Journal (published by CSIRO Publishing for the Australian Rangelands Society), videos and other resources abou the extensive rangelands of Australia.