ENVMGT 746 : Collaborative Environmental Management


2022 Semester Two (1225) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An exploration of participatory management and its potential for engaging communities, resource users and stakeholders in the pursuit of sustainable development. Students will examine strategies for incorporating local knowledge within conservation practices and for reconciling natural resource management with human welfare, social justice and indigenous rights.

Course Overview

This course includes an even balance of oversees and New Zealand-based cases, so is relevant for both international and domestic students and for students from our outside the School of Environment. It emphasises long-form, written assessments and active engagement with academic literature and concepts, so prospective enrollees should consider their capacity for that type of work.

The course unpacks the idea of participatory management with an analysis of three interventions:

Comanagement and community based management - Classes will consider the appropriateness of comanagement as a vehicle for addressing indigenous peoples’ grievances in relation to the conservation estate. Sessions include case studies from both successful and stalled collaborative projects in New Zealand, with particular emphasis on Maori involvement in national park planning. The focus will also include evaluation of decentralisation in natural resource management to communities. What are the risks and benefits of transferring responsibility for environmental outcomes from state managers to those who use directly natural resources?

Involving landowners and citizens in environmental management - Many habitats of significance are situated on private land, but it is often difficult to impose conservation values on private landowners. ‘Regulating’ landowners may yield short-term advantages, but in the long-term it may generate a wide range of unexpected consequences, including non-compliance or avoidance of the active management which is required to deal with pests and weeds. Are landowners necessarily ‘the enemy’ of environmental protection, or is voluntary protection of habitat remnants a realistic strategy for biodiversity maintenance? How can we encourage landowners to collaborate amongst themselves to achieve environmental objectives? In answering this question, a review of the international literature on landowner involvement in private land conservation and in Integrated Catchment Management is applied to key concerns in New Zealand.

Sustainable use and social learning - Sustainable use of natural resources introduces a range of new research and informational needs. Collaboration between agency scientists and local communities or indigenous peoples has been promoted as a basis for reconciling formal and local knowledge. Lectures explore both the potential and the dilemmas in this approach with reference to indigenous claim settlements which have reauthorised cultural harvests and heeded indigenous ecological knowledge but have seldom addressed indigenous developmental needs. The course ends with some enlightening examples of where genuine attempts to reconcile development and conservation have proved successful for both resource protection and local development.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and evaluate policy implications of environmental variability and complexity (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  2. Critically reflect on the relationships between policies for the use of natural resources and public resistance to or the legitimacy of environmental management (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  3. Critically analyse the impact of preservationism and regulatory approaches on citizen compliance with environmental policy. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Evaluate the conflicts between indigenous land rights and managing ‘public’ environmental values. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Explain the effectiveness of transferring responsibility for environmental/conservation policy to community groups. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  6. Analyse policies for involving the public in the conservation of indigenous species/habitat. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  7. Evaluate the contribution of sustainable use to maintenance of ecosystem services. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 10% Individual Coursework
Assignments 40% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Final Exam


As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, The School of Environment Tuākana Programme aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for, and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection), and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal introducing the Programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved.
Māori and Pacific students are encouraged to contact Sonia Fonua (s.fonua@auckland.ac.nz) or Kimoro Taiepa (kimoro.taiepa@auckland.ac.nz) for information about the Tuākana programme.

Key Topics

Comanagement and community based management
- Rights of nature and/vs indigenous rights?
- Collaboration as the realisation of indigenous rights?
- (Adaptive) comanagement and the biopolitics of crisis
- Community-based conservation and the politics of Indigenous development rights
Involving landowners and citizens in environmental management
- Devolution to ‘community’ groups (Landcare)
- Multi-stakeholder platforms and/as Integrated Catchment Management
- Social capital and capacity building (Community-based restoration)
Sustainable use and social learning
- Sustainable use of natural resources: Indigenous harvesting regimes
- (Indigenous) knowledge integration and the politics of collaborative learning

Special Requirements

As with all graduate courses, many of the sessions will focus on in-class discussion. Completion on prescribed reading exercises prior to each session will enable those discussions.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 24 hours of lectures/in-class discussions, 48 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 48 hours of work on assessment.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities.
Lectures will be available as recordings. 
The course will include group discussions and in-person attendance will provide for greater learning potential.
Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled for standard weekly delivery.

Special advice for Offshore students :

This course is available online to students resident offshore. The assessment and learning delivery mechanisms may differ from that presented in this Digital Course Outline. Please contact Brad Coombes, the Course Coordinator, for further details at b.coombes@auckland.ac.nz.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Talis reading lists and links to journal articles will be provided for each topic.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 03/11/2021 08:39 p.m.