Natural Resources Governance Program

Natural Resources Governance Program

Natural resources governance PROGRAM

The Perth USAsia Centre Natural Resources Governance Program facilitates knowledge formation and information exchange and about natural resources governance and management in the Indo-Pacific region. Perth USAsia Centre works with others to contribute to better management of natural resources. This program is part of the Centre’s Indo-Pacific Strategy program and complements the Energy Security Program.

how the perth usasia centre works in natural resources governance

The Perth USAsia Centre NRG program adds value to efforts of others by addressing priority policy issues, with the objectives of:
  1. Building understanding of the role of natural resources and their governance in geo-strategic and geo-economic relationships
  2. Building consensus about leading policy and practice in selected aspects of natural resources governance
  3. Facilitating information exchange about, and capacity-building in natural resources governance.

Natural resources governance can be defined as the necessary blend of (1) law and regulation; (2) government administration, monitoring and enforcement; (3) community engagement; and (4) voluntary private sector practices that enable:
  • Government to host responsible investment in use of natural resources
  • Use of natural resources to be conducted sustainably
  • Benefits to be delivered to nations and regions, their economies and their communities
  • Investors to derive commercial returns

The Natural Resources Governance program contributes through:
  • Research - Commissioning of research papers about key issues of natural resource governance and how they should be addressed
  • Policy forums - Discussion of natural resource governance issues and leading practice approaches in policy forums convened by the Centre
  • Fellowships and study tours - Facilitation of personnel exchange with institutions in Indo-Pacific economies through fellowships focussing on aspects of natural resources governance
  • Lectureships - Facilitation of guest lectureships into regional institutions by experts into relevant natural resource governance capacity-building programs
  • Participation in trade and investment forums - Centre associates participate in forums held in conjunction with negotiating rounds for RCEP and IA-CEPA, plus the APEC Mining Task Force.  They provide policy expertise in aspects of natural resources governance

key to the indo-pacific economies

Natural resources management is a key issue for Indo-Pacific economies. Each has an interest in its own natural resources, but also in how natural resources are managed by others. Some natural resources, such as marine resources and rivers that cross borders, are substantially shared. Management of other natural resources like forests and minerals and energy resources by one economy can have impact on others.

Natural resources management has strong geo-economic and geo-political dimensions. Australia, the United States and other economies have trade and investment interests in natural resources throughout the Indo-Pacific region.  Australia and its neighbours ‘in the zone’ have keen interests in ensuring that natural resources are managed sustainably.

Indo-Pacific economies have variable capability in natural resources governance and management. Australia has deep experience and strong capability in this field. It is in Australia’s interests to support nations in the region to better govern and manage their natural resources.

Natural resources are broadly defined as minerals and coal, oil and gas, marine resources, fresh water resources and land-based resources of soils and forests.

Image courtesy Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance

current cooperation in natural resources governance

Australian companies, governments and institutions have strong capability across natural resources ‘value chains’, including policy, legislation, management, investment and technical approaches.

Several Australian universities and research institutes apply their world-leading capability around the region in aspects of governance of minerals and energy, marine and fresh water, and land. Australian Federal and State government agencies are acknowledged as adopting leading practices in resources governance. Australian private sector organisations also possess strong technical and policy  capabilities in management of natural resources. 

These Australian strengths are being applied to foster cooperative research, information exchange and capacity-building in several countries in the Indo-Pacific region. These activities contribute to achieving better governance and outcomes from utilisation of natural resources. 

In addition, organisations such as APEC, development banks and donor bodies are fostering information exchange and capacity-building in the resources governance.

Image courtesy Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance