Severe problems of fragmented policies and uncoordinated implementation
undermine natural resource management in Australia. There have been promising signs of
progress through activities such as the National Forest Policy, Council of Australian
Government water reforms, National Land and Water Resources Audit, the Murray-
Darling Basin initiative and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality to
integrate resource policies. There have also been some notable successes at State and local level.
But fragmentation endures. This paper provides evidence of the enduring problem of
fragmentation and presents a framework to analyse Australia's experience in natural resource
management. The analysis reveals the multi-dimensional character of the problems and
identi®es a diverse set of actions that need to be taken to improve integration in policy and
implementation. Particular attention is given to the potential for regional programs to contribute
to improved integration and NRM.
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