Using a worldview lens to examine complex policy issues: a historical review of bushfire management in the South West of Australia
|Title||Using a worldview lens to examine complex policy issues: a historical review of bushfire management in the South West of Australia|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Journal||The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability|
|Keywords||Australia., bushfire management, governance, Policy, sustainability, worldviews.|
The scale and intensity of bushfire activity in Australia is likely to increase as a result of climate change. Effective bushfire management policy measures are therefore essential to minimise the interrelated social, environmental and economic impacts of fire in the landscape. This paper presents a historical review of bushfire management in the South West of Australia (SW): a bushfire prone and biodiverse region. Using a worldview framework to analyse key policy documents and literature, the paper demonstrates that the evolution of complex policy sectors such as bushfire management, is influenced not only by scientific and technical developments but also as a result of changing worldviews. Adapting the Integrative Worldview Framework (IWF), seven worldview categories that dominated particular periods of history in Australia are presented. These worldview categories are then used to examine the evolution of bushfire management practice, policy and institutional arrangements relevant to the SW. The argument presented herein is that a better understanding of worldviews and how they influence complex and contentious policy fields such as bushfire management, is useful for policy analysis, reflexive practice and research. The paper suggests an integrative worldview approach, which enables opportunities for exchanges and constructive conflict between stakeholders and agencies with diverse worldviews, could contribute to creating more sustainable bushfire management. Finally, it is argued that opportunities for Indigenous and Western worldview exchanges in the bushfire management sector, through collaborative knowledge partnerships could assist the sector in both management practice and policy formulation.