Although collaboration and multi-stakeholder partnerships have become a common feature in natural resource management throughout the world, various problems are associated with attempts to up-scale community-based natural resource management from the local to the regional level. To analyze the reasons behind these problems, this article reports on two examples of collaboratives in Australia: local Landcare groups, and regional natural resource management (NRM) bodies. Recent government-induced changes have shifted the focus from local Landcare group action to strategic planning and implementation by regional NRM bodies. Two typologies of collaboratives are applied to analyze the characteristics of both these groups. The study uses data from 52 qualitative interviews with key informants at the local and regional level in Victoria and Tasmania, participant observation, as well as literature and document analysis. The article illustrates how the groups' distinct characteristics can cause conflicts when the different types of collaboratives operate in parallel. In addition, the article reports how stakeholders perceive the level of community participation in decision-making processes. The key message is that the benefits of community participation and collaboration that arise at the local level can be lost when these approaches are up-scaled to the regional level unless there is an intermediary or 'mediating structure' to facilitate communication and create the link between different types of collaboratives.
- Multi-stakeholder partnerships
- Community-based natural resource management
- Regional model
- ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE
- WATERSHED MANAGEMENT