Putting Holistic Management In Place
The holistic management decision-making framework uses six key steps to guide the management of resources:
Define what you are managing
By defining the whole, people are better able to manage it. The key is to get the right people to the table and identify the available resources, including money.
Define what you want now and in the future
Define a holistic context for future objectives, goals and actions. There are three components in a “holistic context” – the quality of life sought, what needs to be produced to live such lives and what their life-supporting environment must be like to sustain such lives far into the future.
Watch out for bare ground
The earliest indicator of ecosystem health is soil cover. If the land is bare and there are few other signs of life, it’s a poorly functioning environment. Bare ground can have deep impacts for people in both urban and rural environments such as increased flooding and decreased food production.
Play with a full deck
There are eight tools for managing natural resources: money/labor, human creativity, grazing, animal impact, fire, rest, living organisms and technology. Grazing and animal impact have been added to the traditional land management toolbox to be used proactively as effective tools to restore ecosystem health.
Test your decisions
There are seven questions that can help you test decisions to ensure they are socially, environmentally and financially sound for both the short and long term.
At any time, assume your plan is wrong and use a feedback loop that includes monitoring for the earliest signs of failure, adjusting and re-planning.