Australian Resources and Environment Policy Challenges (AREPC)

Crawford School of Public Policy | Executive course
Policy Fundamentals


A deep understanding of Natural Resource Management (NRM) is crucial to the effective management of the system. Throughout the program participants will be guided by experts in the field to plan strategic policy interventions and broaden their knowledge of NRM to skilfully identify opportunities free from path dependence, ethical dimensions and manage NRM contracts and relationships.

Course overview

Led by leading researchers with extensive experience working with both national and state jurisdictions, each course will explore the challenges involved in developing policy in a federal system. Participants will be introduced to:

  • methods that highlight policy-limiting path dependencies,
  • conceptual systems for thinking about future scenarios,
  • stakeholder and discourse analysis,
  • equity and ethical dimensions of NRM issues that bring together diverse community interests and multiple levels of government,
  • the complexities involved in policy-research relationships,
  • best practice principles for the management of consultancies,
  • strategies for integrating monitoring and auditing into management programs,
  • community consultation processes,
  • ways to maximise efficient participation in inter-government and interagency working groups,
  • regulatory frameworks,
  • international treaties and agreements relevant to the subject of the day.

Consideration will also be given to the treatment of NRM in countries with similar cultures and political systems such as Europe and North America.

How does it work?

The AREPC program is made up of 10 one-day courses focused on introducing approaches and skills relevant to NRM in Australia. Each day will focus on a different topic central to NRM. Participants are able to enrol in the full 10 day program or attend individual one-day courses as a stand-alone option.

Each course day is taught by an expert in the field and may include guest speakers. Participants are encouraged to learn through short presentations, video, audio and print interviews and discussions. Participants may also receive pre and post reading, where appropriate.

The 10 course day topics will be selected from the list below:

  1. Great Barrier Reef – from the paddock to planetary boundaries
  2. Geoengineering – policy potential and pitfalls
  3. Biodiversity on farms – stewardship vs private land conservation vs regulation
  4. Horse racing - who is responsible for what?
  5. Achieving (more and better) practice change in NRM
  6. Coastal communities and fisheries reform – what is ‘fair’?
  7. Soils: Erosion is for life
  8. Land use and climate change
  9. Waste – from the logistical to the moral
  10. Beyond Native Title - Aboriginal Water Rights
  11. Climate Change and engineered Rivers - comparing the Murray-Darling, Colorado, Rhine and Yellow rivers
  12. Eco Cultural tourism – the role of governments?

Learning outcomes:

Include enhanced capacity to:

  1. understand the policy challenges created by complex NRM issues including ethical and moral dimensions
  2. take a whole-of-government approach to major NRM issues
  3. develop practical policy options whose implementation would involve different levels of government, multiple agencies and diverse community interests.
  4. work with communities
  5. cooperate with researchers
  6. manage NRM related contracts, and
  7. operate effectively in interagency and inter-government working groups

Who should attend?

  • federal and state government middle level public servants,
  • NGO staff
  • researchers wanting to increase their understanding of policy processes
  • relevant industry stakeholder groups depending on the issue

No prior experience/knowledge required to attend.

Course presenter(s)

Dr Daniel Connell

Daniel works in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, Canberra where his research focusses on modified and engineered rivers that cross federal or international borders such as the Murray-Darling, Colorado, Rhine and Yellow Rivers. Subjects of interest include different approaches to promoting culture change and water reform, the management of conflict between stakeholders, environmental justice, public participation, gender, institutional design, water markets, groundwater management, forced migration, development impacts on Indigenous peoples, water transfers between catchments and across borders, and the policy challenges of climate change. He also supervises PhD students working on environmental and natural resource management issues in Australia and Asia and teaches postgraduate courses at the Crawford School dealing with water conflicts, complex environmental issues, and eco-cultural tourism.

Dr Nicole Mazur

Nicki Mazur is Principal Consultant for ENVision Environmental Consulting which provides social research services to a range of clients, including Commonwealth and State/Territory Government agencies, regional NRM organizations, research organizations, NGOs, and other consulting firms. Nicki has extensive experience advising on the social dimensions of and impacts on and from natural resource and environmental policy and management. She has worked across diverse public policy issues including biodiversity conservation, commercial fisheries management, water management, climate change, animal welfare in primary industries, and environmental and social impact assessment. She also teaches at the Crawford School of Public Policy ANU.

Dr Steven Cork

Dr Cork is a ecologist and futurist who played a lead role in developing the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios for the future of the world. He has worked as a senior researcher (CSIRO), an advisor to governments on policy issues, and as a government employee developing and implementing environmental policy. He is also the Principal Consultant of Eco-Insights, a director of the private sustainability R&D organization Australia21 and teaches a number of masters level courses at the Australian National University.

David Salt

David Salt is a science writer and teacher with extensive experience at National Geographic, CSIRO and the ANU in the Fenner and Crawford Schools. At the CSIRO he worked as the Communications Manager for the Division of Wildlife and Ecology and coauthored two books with Dr Brian Walker, Resilience Thinking and Resilience Practice. He has also edited a number of science related publications including The Double Helix, Material Monthly, Decision Point and Dbytes. At the Crawford School he has coordinated and contributed to courses focusing on sustainability and resilience, water and environment related policy issues, and ecocultural tourism.

Updated:  17 October 2021/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team