National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development

Prepared by the Ecologically Sustainable Development Steering Committee
Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments
December, 1992
ISBN 0 644 27253 8

Conflict Management
Part 4 Future Development of ESD in Australia - Chapter 31


To develop and use decision making processes which facilitate effective conflict management and dispute resolution, in the context of ESD issues

Strategic Approach

Governments will promote incentive structures that are capable of better accommodating environmental values, and will work to ensure that resource allocation mechanisms and ESD-related decision making processes are accessible, transparent, predictable and timely.

Objective 31.1

  • to reduce the occasions for conflict to arise in relation to ESD-related decisions, actions and initiatives

Governments will:

  • improve the efficiency and transparency of environmental resource allocation
  • seek to reflect environmental values in the pricing mechanisms governing the distribution of relevant resources
  • apply ESD principles to regulatory frameworks governing significant environmental resource allocation decisions

Objective 31.2

  • to reduce and, where possible, resolve community conflicts over environmental resources

Governments will:

  • when reviewing relevant regulatory frameworks, investigate the potential for inclusion of non- legal conflict resolution mechanisms such as voluntary mediation
  • examine, in conjunction with the Australian Local Government Association, the feasibility of integrating non-legal conflict resolution mechanism into the decision-making systems of local government
  • progressively ensure that, where regulatory decisions allocate significant environmental resources:
    • stakeholders and decision makers have access to information regarding the potential scientific, economic and social values of the resources over time, of a quality matching the importance of the resource allocation decision;
    • the level of assessment is appropriate to the degree of scientific, economic and social significance;
    • basic principles underpinning decision making are explicit, and decisions are accountable against those principles;
    • assessment and decision process are coordinated, transparent, and do not involve duplication;
    • final decisions by government or authorities, where conflict remains, are transparent and made within a timetable which stakeholders understand; and
    • major stakeholders have access to efficient appeals processes where they can seek reviews of decisions