Integrated planning requires the bringing together of social and economic needs with environmental concerns, in ways that provides optimal outcomes both now and for the future. Integrated planning relies for its success on involving a broad range of interested groups and individuals. Decision-makers working with 'ideas' people, practical achievers and others in the community, each respecting the skills of others, produces the best results.
The area involved in the planning process will vary depending on a number of factors, including the project being considered and the number of people likely to be affected. Increasingly, there is a view that one of the most important factors in determining what area should be involved is the 'community'. Often referred to as a 'community of common interest', it is the people who develop a sense of shared ownership of and responsibility towards a place who are most likely to care for its future and to strive for common outcomes.
While awareness of economic goals is strong throughout the community and there is a growing awareness of the need for environmental protection, consideration of the social needs of those who live and work in an area are often overlooked in planning processes. Yet social issues are influenced by tradition and culture. They are deeply ingrained in individual and community behaviour and impact on people's way of life. Social issues are an essential aspect of integrated planning.
Namoi CMA is working with landholders and managers, and other interested groups and individuals, to assist in developing and implementing sustainable approaches to the management of vegetation, land, and water resources within the Namoi Catchment.