The Five Capitals Framework for Exploring the State of Friends’ Groups in Perth, Western Australia: Implications for Urban Environmental Stewardship

By Subas P. Dhakal.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Community groups have become a vital component of urban environmental stewardship initiatives in Australia. The contributions of these groups are imperative in cities like Perth where nearly two-third wetlands/bushland ecosystems have been lost in the past 150 years and the remnant ecosystems are continually under threat from the potential redevelopment. It is estimated that more than 400 community groups known as Friends’ Groups (FGs) are active in the Perth area. FGs are engaged in activities that range from managing urban nature reserves to the mounting of public campaigns against unsustainable development. However, the state of FGs in the Perth area remains virtually an unexplored subject matter. This paper responds to this gap and investigates the capabilities of FGs using the five capitals framework. Analysis of quantitative and qualitative data (survey of 50 FGs and 4 interviews) suggests that ad hoc financial assistance from government agencies alone is inadequate to secure the future of FGs. Based on the findings; this paper recommends a holistic support mechanism to strengthen FGs so that they can be better equipped in undertaking urban environmental stewardship initiatives in the future.

Keywords: Friends’ Group, Five Capitals Framework, Perth, Urban Environmental Stewardship

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.135-148. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 861.306KB).

Dr. Subas P. Dhakal

PhD Candidate, School of Sustainability, Murdoch University, Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia

Subas has been affiliated with Murdoch University’s Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy (ISTP) since 2006. His PhD (completed in 2010 from Murdoch) explored the implications of nexus between social capital and ICT towards strengthening urban environmental stewardship in Perth. Subas completed his bachelor level studies (Wildlife Conservation and Management) from Missouri Western State University, USA and masters level studies (Environmental and Natural Resources Management) from Mahidol University, Thailand. His research interests/professional experiences/publications have been in the areas of community based environmental management, environmental education, environmental economics, social capital, and ICTs.

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