|dc.description.abstract||The management of biodiversity has come under scrutiny both at the international level and more recently at the national level through the formulation of the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy (2000). Monitoring is an important part of natural resource management, and this also applies to biodiversity. However, tensions concern the resources and skills available to undertake adequate monitoring of biodiversity. Policy documents emphasise the importance of community involvement in the management of biodiversity. The frameworks for involving local people in the monitoring of biodiversity are often limited by technical and scientific epistemologies. This thesis investigates epistemologies for the monitoring of biodiversity and, where relevant, the environment in general. Soft Systems Methodology is used for this investigation, and was applied to a case study of a rural community, 'Veeba'. The conceptual frameworks of monism, dualism and dialecticism were used to understand existing and alternative monitoring epistemologies.
This thesis concludes that monistic and dualistic mixing strategies are employed in current frameworks for both monitoring biodiversity, and involving communities in monitoring the environment. This thesis recommends employing a dialectical framework in the development of monitoring programmes, particularly those that involve local people. Such an approach is capable of addressing issues of equity that comprise an important part of the management of biodiversity and the control of information on biodiversity. This thesis expands existing monitoring discourses by questioning the epistemology of current monitoring approaches and processes for involving communities in the management of biodiversity.||en