The adoption of the Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) approach is increasingly regarded as the most effective way of dealing with environmental issues. ICM takes a 'whole of systems' approach and avoids dealing with issues in isolation. It also recognises the important role played by the community in managing natural resources and advantages, such as increased mutual understanding and effectiveness that result from a genuine partnership between community and government.

For example, over half the ACT is reserved for nature conservation, but there are major on going challenges in natural resource management related to land use Practices, off reserve conservation, urban development, water quality and responsibilities to downstream communities.