Postprint of: Dhakal, SP 2013, 'Fragile environment in need of resilient carers? a case of regional natural resources management in Perth, Western Australia', Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, vol. 20, no.1 pp. 50-61.
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The Perth region is one of the 56 designated Natural Resources Management (NRM) regions in Australia. A community-led body – Perth Region NRM (PRNRM) – is in charge of overseeing NRM initiatives in the region. PRNRM heavily relies on Environmental Care Organisations (ECOs) that are involved in a wide variety of activities ranging from managing nature reserves to restoring ecosystems on a voluntary basis. While ECOs have become an integral component of PRNRM, they are often vulnerable because of the uncertain availability of financial and human resources. The way these organisations can overcome resource scarcities and become resilient is therefore significant for the effective delivery of regional NRM arrangements. However, what makes some ECOs in the Perth region more resilient than others is not well understood. This paper responds to this gap and explores the state of ECOs in the Perth region. The paper begins by reviewing the notion of resilience using a social capital lens. Drawing on a survey of ECOs and interviews, the method used for data collection and data analysis is presented next. Finally, the paper makes a case for fostering social capital as a way of enhancing the resilience of ECOs in the Perth region and beyond.