By: Anna Carr
268 pages, Tabs, maps
Governments are increasingly devolving environmental responsibilities on to local community-based organisations. This book investigates the process and how such groups can develop.
This is a very personal work ... From the dedication, through the preface and acknowledgements, through all chapters, this is Anna Carr's book - her journey through life, her conviction and hope for the future. ... This book draws on her research for her PhD but presents it in a very different format. Starting with an introduction, the book contains chapters on; language issues (defining, describing, and decrying disciplinary elitist jargon; who constitutes members of what Carr describes as stewardship groups; the role of government in environmental management; the principles of community involvement; and, finally, on top-down versus bottom-up approaches to sustainability. This last chapter (which is rather analytical) argues that neither type of approach is by itself sufficient for sustainability - it attempts to create something of a middle ground: bottom-up meets top-down". The book is a case study of three types of stewardship group ... the Downside Landcare group in the neighbourhood of Wagga (NSW) which formed primarily to combat salinity; the Water Watchers group based in the Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire south of Perth in WA, which initially sought to show that algae blooms were not due to phosphorus run-off from farms; and the Mitchell River group in Far North Queensland which was initiated to help manage the catchment. ... While it is not a practical how-to-do-it manual, community group representatives and facilitators are likely to be intrigued by the common experiences that they recognise. It is not written in academic style but its utilisation of interview and case study enables it to address the key issues ... ." - Rural Society, Vol 12 No 1, 2002
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