Natural Resource Management

Natural Resource Management (NRM) is the management of the natural resources that make up Australia’s natural landscapes, such as land, water, soil, plants and animals.

Rams in field
NRM aims to balance economic, social and environmental objectives.

What is NRM?

Natural Resource Management (NRM) refers to the management of natural resources such as land, water and our biodiversity assets. NRM activities focus specifically on the sustainable use of natural resources to ensure both present and future generations experience the quality of life they provide.

The Tasmanian Natural Resource Management Act (2002) established a framework that includes the Tasmanian Natural Resource Management Council, which advises the minister on NRM issues; and three regional committees, with the role to develop and implement an NRM strategy for each region.

NRM is a long-term process that focuses on making balanced decisions together in order to satisfy livelihoods for all.

NRM and the Community

From the land that produces our food, the water we drink and the air we breathe, to our recreational activities, everyone depends on natural resources and we share the responsibility to use these wisely and conserve them for the future.

Participation in NRM is voluntary and those involved want to live in a healthier and more sustainable world and ensure this for future generations. Healthy natural spaces enrich our health and recreational experiences, so minimising disturbance and repairing sensitive environments are important aspects of NRM.

Volunteers at an estuary
Volunteers are at the heart of many NRM North projects.
Delicate pink flowers
Vegetation at the Coastal Foreshore Reserve, Scamander.

NRM Strategy for Northern Tasmania

The Natural Resource Management Strategy for Northern Tasmania 2015–2020 has been developed to establish an integrated framework to facilitate sustainable management of northern Tasmania’s natural resources. The Strategy is one of three in Tasmania and is complemented by the Strategies for Southern Tasmania and the Cradle Coast region.

As a whole-of-community Strategy, it aims to balance economic, social and environmental objectives and encourage partnerships between community, industry and government for the betterment of the region’s natural resources.

The Strategy does not have statutory power or replace any current mechanism or policy relating to natural resource management, but seeks to build partnerships between stakeholders and develop synergies between planning and management processes.

Further Information

The three formally recognised NRM organisations in Tasmania are NRM North, NRM South and Cradle Coast NRM.

The Federal Government is involved in NRM projects through several national funding programs, most of which are undertaken in cooperation with the states. For information on the programs, please go to the Federal Government website.

Quick Q&A

How can I get involved?

There are many ways to be active in NRM including:

  • Joining or beginning a local Landcare, Coastcare or 'Friends Of' group;
  • Implement strategies to use resources sustainably at home, work and play;
  • Share NRM information and resources with friends, family and neighbours;
  • Attend NRM events to grow in knowledge and appreciation of our natural resources; or
  • Consider active on-ground works or planning on your property and investigate funding available to assist.
I'm a landholder, what can I do?

NRM techniques may already be implemented on your property including keeping waterways clean and clear from contamination, fencing off waterways and bush land, planting shelter belts and introducing water and energy saving strategies. NRM can help improve the productivity and profitability of your business by improving the quality and sustainability of the resource base, such as water and soil health. Have a look at NRM North's current programs and resources for more information.

Is NRM enforceable by law?

NRM is voluntary, has no regulatory role and is not enforceable. It does not replace existing policies and processes such as Tasmania Together, the Regional Forest Agreement and local government planning schemes.

The Tasmanian Resource Management and Planning System (RMPS) still provides the overarching legislative framework for natural resource management and for planning and development control, however NRM integrates the elements of the RMPS and deals with aspects of natural resource management that are not covered by legislation.

NRM is targeted at maintaining and enhancing the regional natural resource assets, not only for the sustainable use of resources in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, recreation and tourism, but also to maintain their ecosystem services and other values.

What are NRM principles based on?

NRM decisions and actions are based on the most recent scientific data available and are guided by the following scientific principles:

  • Ecosystem Approach - NRM should be based on an understanding of the relationship between natural resources and the ecosystems they support, and upon careful monitoring of change over time;
  • Priority Based - NRM actions are to be undertaken according to priorities that are based on the best available science and information, and relevant experience, as well as on assessment of the relative cost-effectiveness of various options; and
  • Prevention is Better Than Cure - It is often more efficient to prevent damage rather than repair it. Therefore, where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation.