The Regional Catchment Strategy for the Port Phillip & Western Port region
Summary of RCS Guidelines – Part 2 (Principles)

13 January 2020

The core principle when developing the next RCS will be to adopt a whole‐of‐system approach for land, water and biodiversity planning and delivery. This is often referred to as integrated catchment management (ICM).

Why is ICM so important?

As well as being a whole system approach, it also captures the values and priorities of regional communities and brings together partners from across the catchment region to identify and respond to challenges that cannot be solved by one organisation or stakeholder alone. The next RCS will explain how ICM is implemented in the Port Phillip & Western Port region.

ICM enables partners and the community to collaborate on ideas, and gives opportunities to deliver on a range of benefits, including:

  • leveraging effort and resources;
  • making informed decisions across ‘silos’ through trade‐off discussions;
  • working towards a shared long‐term vision.

ICM establishes strong links between communities and the natural resources within a catchment, and its characteristics are: 

  • Place‐based
  • Whole‐of‐system/landscape
  • Delivers a mix of multiple benefits – across land, water, biodiversity, coasts and marine
  • Flexible in planning and delivery
  • Captures community values and priorities
  • Right scale and scalability (local and regional)
  • Enables Traditional Owners partnerships
  • Leverages all partners’ contributions.

Principles for development of RCS 2021-27

  • Integrated catchment management (ICM) approach
  • Regional ownership, embracing the regional delivery model, including co‐delivery from committed partners
  • Place‐based systems approach, at regional and local levels
  • Built on strong community engagement and stakeholder partnerships
  • Regard for Aboriginal cultural values and traditional ecological knowledge
  • Triple bottom line approach, including consideration of socio‐cultural, economic, and environmental factors
  • Evidence‐based, supported by science and defendable data
  • Flexibility to adopt new technologies and new information as they arise.