I’ve decided to turn this blog into a weekly newsletter, to be published on Fridays.

This newsletter on the human dimensions of natural resource management begins with an explanation of the term  “Human Dimensions”.

Human dimensions work includes:

  1. interdisciplinary research into human behaviours in natural environments involving researchers from both the social sciences and the humanities;
  2. foci on the human dimensions of wildlife, fisheries, coasts, oceans, protected areas and climate change;
  3. building understandings of people’s behaviours in relation to environmental management and providing knowledge for environmental managers and policy makers;
  4. connections to universal concepts such as fairness, justice, risk, and sustainability; and,
  5. both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Consequently, human dimensions work typically contains three aspects:

  1. a focus on people’s engagements with elements of natural environments, from a psychological and/or cultural point of view;
  2. a focus on the management interventions that mediate those engagements, including governance, legislation, policy and planning; and,
  3. a focus on the response of natural environments to people’s engagements.

In the photo above, we see tourists landing on Chachauate, one of the cays in the Cayos Cochinos Marine Protected Area off the Honduras coast. Their hosts, Garifuna people, from the Honduran coastal areas, fished these waters before the advent of the MPA. Here, a change in management regime affects people and their livelihood and, perhaps, the fishery.

Human dimensions in natural resource management as a field of research and practice is large in its scope. In these pages, I’ll try to offer something about the three focal areas across the range of areas of application such as wildlife, protected areas and so on.

Bob Payne is a human dimensions specialist and professor at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. He can be contacted through LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/rjpayne.

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  1. very much useful for me. thank you very much for your nice job!

  2. hey, toller post – kompliment

  3. This is a very important initiative as as natural resource management is concerned. Inference from the the definitions above qualify human dimensions as a fundamental component of success in managing natural resources at least if it not the core.

    GOOD JOB Mr. Payne

  4. Very interesting reading, I would also like to refer readers to http://www.fao.org/fishery/topic/13261/en

  5. Very interesting article for natural resource management. Keep it up Prof.

  6. Excellent newsletter

  7. please keep me updated

  8. Nice post. I liked it.

  9. Hello Dr Payne
    My name is Courtney and I am a PhD student at the U of A, studying under Dr Scott Nielsen, to identify and understand the social landscape of grizzly bear conservation. I also work for the provincial ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, where my work has shifted to focus on the human or social dimensions of cumulative effects management. I have a particular interest, and some experience in, human-wildlife issues. I was hoping to learn more from you, on working in this area, as I would like to evolve my skills.

    I hold a BSc and a BEd in natural science/bio and scienece education, as well as a MEd in environmental education, from LU. I studied under Bob Jickling for my masters and worked in Namibia with cheetahs, and other wildife, for my research. At work now, and in my grad studies, I am using conservation psychology as my theoretical approach, as well as adaptive management principles.

    I look forward to hearing from you, and please say hello to Len; we met last year in Madison, WI at the ISSRM conference.

    Thank you,
    Courtney Hughes

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