Understanding rural life - assessing the social dimensions when encouraging land-use changes in rural areas

Meshed with the bio-physical and economic dimensions of rural land-use is a social dimension. Understanding the social and economic dimension of rural communities is critical if agencies are to develop effective policies and programs to improve natural resource outcomes. In this paper, we draw on research of the Boorowa community, located in the south-west slopes of New South Wales, to help understand how social changes in rural communities are impacting natural resource management in the Boorowa district. This included: • *Identifying the catalysts for changing land-use in the Boorowa catchment, • *Presenting an effective and efficient methodology for assessing the social and economic impacts of changes in land use at the catchment scale, • *Identifying feasible and socially-acceptable pathways to achieve change in landuse to manage dryland salinity. The research process involved assessing data availability for construction of social and landholder profiles, conducting workshops with different community groups to explore their long-term goals and concerns about salinity, and developing indicators of social processes and progress that Catchment Management Authorities might be able to use in their decision-making processes.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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