The rangelands of WA are huge. So, in order to achieve results that make an impact, we need to work on a landscape-scale and across tenures, which means connecting people and working together.
We also know that to achieve real change on the ground, it’s far better to help and encourage people to look after their own patch. We help to seed projects and organisations so they can improve management and grow something bigger.
The scale of the challenges we confront in the rangelands mean that no one organisation or sector is able to address these challenges by itself. The only way we are going to solve these is to work together better.
A ‘backbone’ organisation–such as Rangelands NRM–is vital to provide ongoing and independent support for collaboration. The backbone organisation helps maintain good communication and overall strategic coherence that makes the most of the diverse strengths of the people and organisations involved and serves the collective action on the ground.
At present, there is disconnection in the rangelands of WA between projects, thinking, policy and people. With reduced funding and resources, organisations often feel the need to look more inward, and don’t have the time or resources to look for opportunities to coordinate effort.
We all accept that there are challenges in the rangelands that are huge and complex. Ones that are difficult to solve, are constantly changing, and are social problems involving many players/stakeholders, rather than technical problems involving an expert. There are no right answers with complex problems. [More about the Cynefin Framework and “Wicked Problems” simple>complicated>complex>chaotic problems]
Our work process is underpinned by the theory of collective impact and adaptive management.
Collective Impact looks at helping people and organisations involved on a journey to do more with their resources and mandate by connecting them with others and giving them support. Efforts are coordinated around clearly defined goals and a shared vision. Activities are aligned and there is continuous communication. When there’s strong backbone coordination and the collective impact brings together local people and other players across the region, there can be a huge ‘leverage effect’ applied to results. Contribution of ideas, solutions, resources and action come from many people an dare grounded to local needs.
Adaptive Management is the journey from goals to action, to adjusting action to fit the changing realities. It is working on the ‘how’ and ‘what’ to do towards solving the problem. An adaptive management approach is necessary when many people and organisations are working and learning together towards finding better solutions to large scale challenges.
Over the last several years, Rangelands NRM have been helping to seed the start-up of community organisations to ‘look after their own patch’. Support is for capacity building of their group and future leaders in developing their land management programs and towards encouragement and much more sustainable outcomes. Relatively small amounts of seed funding can provide a huge ‘leveraging effect’ for a rewarding return.
We directly support indigenous, pastoral and environmental groups, and strong organisations that are leading the way in responding to the needs of the ‘grass roots’ communities they are serving. For example Indigenous Ranger Programs, pastoral groups and environmental groups.