Meaning of planning and management

A planner is planning
A planner is planning
Image Credit: Stumptner, A. 2007

Definition of planning

"Planning is usually interpreted as a process to develop a strategy to achieve desired [] objectives, to solve problems, and to facilitate action" (Mitchell 2002, 6).

The role of the planner is thus to identify a desirable future and to prepare a course of action to achieve this goal (Mitchell 2002). He records this in a plan. In the course of this module you will learn how planning can be carried out.

Natural resource planning thus is - with regard to resources - "the identification of possible desirable future end states, and development of courses of action to reach such end states" (Mitchell 2002, 6).

Definition of management

Management refers to the controlling and planning of details (Bauer 1998). By judicious use of available means the actual decisions are made and actions are carried out to achieve the objectives (Storey 1960).

Management thus requires both plans and objectives (Storey 1960).

The manager has therefore to control, handle and direct the decision-making and the course of action. He has the responsibility and the authority to allocate the capital, technology and human resources to achieve the desired end (Mitchell 2002; Ratter 2002).

Natural resource management thus comprises actual decisions and actions concerning policy and practice regarding how resources are appraised, protected, allocated, developed, utilised, processed, rehabilitated, remediated and restored, monitored and evaluated (Ewert et al. 2004; Mitchell 2002).

This management process includes the broad economic, social, environmental and technical considerations that influence natural resource management decision-making (Ewert et al. 2004). Thus, management is complex and requires substantial advance planning.

Planning the development and management of natural resources should involve the broader development goals of the community aiming to improve the living conditions of the local population (such as marketing opportunities for the cultivated crops). In this context, natural resource management means less the outright protection of natural resources (e.g., game reserves to which local people are denied access); rather it means a sustainable and environmentally appropriate management (Bollom 1998).

What is meant by sustainable is explained on the next learning page.