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The three-co-organisers of the July Rangelands Policy Dialogue have approved of a one-page Declaration, download here. The three parties – The Royal Society of Queensland, AgForce and NRM Regions Queensland – have issued the following statement.

“The Rangelands Declaration is not an action plan. It is a statement of principles, emphasising the lack of widely supported policy solutions to a range of economic and environmental pressures and the absence of satisfactory forums to resolve differences of opinion. But it is more than just a resolution to write an action plan in the future. It is a commitment to embark on a journey of discovery together.

“The Declaration commits the three parties to maintaining the partnership and to establishing forums that will access all available knowledge affecting the Rangelands, with the common purpose of transitioning management of these landscapes into a more optimistic and sustainable future.

“The collaboration is a milestone in Queensland’s policy development and has allowed analysis of the challenges to rise above media polarisation and sectoral interests. The three parties will now take the Declaration to government and peak bodies and will seek official support as well as establishing a consultative forum to maintain momentum in Rangelands policy development.

Nearly unanimous

“All of the more than 120 participants were consulted in preparing the Declaration. Endorsement was nearly but not quite unanimous. The organisers have not included language that would revisit past antagonisms; it looks to the future. They have not included language that would predetermine the outcomes of more detailed examination of issues in the months that lie ahead; it accepts that many people and bodies who were not in the room have a stake in navigating a pathway to the future. However, the Declaration is presented as a fair summary of the large body of opinion on which there was a consensus”.

Next steps

The three collaborators are now moving to convene the first of a series of “Regional Dialogues” and to establish a Rangelands Consultative Council to continue the process of consultation across institutional and disciplinary barriers.

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