Natural resources-based Livelihoods

Natural resource management is essentially about managing people. The management of land, water, vegetation, wildlife, coastlines and marine resources occurs through the aggregate and cumulative impact of the countless everyday decisions and actions taken by us -- humans. Those decisions and actions are in turn influenced by our values, beliefs, hopes and fears, our understanding, our economic circumstances and social norms and institutions such as property rights, regulations, prices and so on.

Livelihoods is a broad concept -- literally how we make a living and how we live our lives -- that encapsulates the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of nations, people and communities. It is crucial to understand how pastoral activities, agriculture, mining, tourism and the use of bush products contribute to the wellbeing of people -- Indigenous and non-Indigenous -- in the desert, the north and surrounding tropical countries.

The livelihoods lens -- specifically the link between livelihoods and the environment -- provides an integrating focus for RIEL. The detailed knowledge of ecosystem conditions and processes emerging from environmental research in the other themes, is combined with an appreciation of societal drivers to provide policy makers and managers with an understanding of options and their likely ecological, economic, social and cultural implications.

This multi-faceted approach is attracting post-graduate scholars from across Australia and the region. These students are researching pressing livelihood questions in their home countries, to which they return with new insights and enhanced skills. Back in their home countries, these CDU alumni will strengthen bonds with Australia well into the future. The economists, anthropologists, policy analysts and other social scientists who drive RIEL’s livelihoods research also provide many services to government and environment-based industries.


People in the group

Ronju Ahammad's picture
Ronju Ahammad
Casual Researcher
Dirk Steenbergen's picture
Dirk Steenbergen
Post-doctoral Fellow (NAMRA)
Pia Harkness's picture
Pia Harkness
PhD Student
Frederika Rambu Ngana's picture
Frederika Rambu Ngana
PhD student
Hannah Ling's picture
Hannah Ling
PhD Student
Dr Lisa Petheram's picture
Dr Lisa Petheram
Sam Pickering's picture
Sam Pickering
Research Associate
Kim Hunnam's picture
Kim Hunnam
PhD Student
Gianna Bonis-Profumo's picture
Gianna Bonis-Profumo
PhD Candidate
Emily Gibson's picture
Emily Gibson
PhD Student