Report on the Feral Camels Workshops December 6–7, 2005

Report on the Feral Camels Workshops December 6–7, 2005 Policy Briefings

DKCRC Working Paper

  • Author(s): Edwards, GP,
  • Published: 2008
  • Publisher: Desert Knowledge CRC
  • Volume: 26

Abstract: The growing feral camel population in central Australia is a cause for concern at many levels and is the subject of a cross-jurisdictional Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre (DKCRC) project that has recently been funded by the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT). Opinions and perceptions concerning camels vary; there appears to be no one obvious solution to the ‘problem’, and yet it is important to have stakeholder support for recommendations made as a result of the DKCRC NHT project. Stakeholder input, as part of the first stage in an alternative futures assessment, was solicited at two workshops held at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Alice Springs in December 2005. A team of three scientists from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno, Nevada, USA conducted these workshops following extensive discussion over several months with the DKCRC and CSIRO team members, and the award of seed money jointly contributed by Desert Knowledge Australia and the DRI. The two workshops were attended by sixteen outside participants from a variety of backgrounds (e.g. conservation, the meat industry, pastoralists, and government agencies). Following introductions to the NHT project, alternative futures assessments, and scenario-based futures modelling the participants interactively identified stakeholders involved with camels and the driving forces operating on natural, social and economic variables associated with the growing camel population. Interactions between the stakeholders and driving forces were summarised in two matrices (one for each workshop) which indicated the most crucial issues and stakeholders, and which will be used for developing scenarios (or plans) to show how change might occur. These workshops were the first stage in the alternative futures assessment process, which will continue with workshops with other stakeholder groups and the development of scenarios during 2006. During 2007 and 2008, the spatial modelling of environmental, social and economic results of the three to four alternative futures (decisions made regarding the management of feral camels) between now and, say, 20 years from now will be carried out. Results will therefore identify not only the range of plausible actions but the effects these actions are likely to have.

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