Parallel 5 – Planning for adaptation in natural resource management

Chair: Sarah Boulter

A framework to support climate adaptation planning and decision-making by natural resource managers (1092)

David Rissik 1 , Sarah Boulter 1 , Veronica Doerr 1 2 , Nadine Marshall 1 3 , Alistair Hobday 1 4 , Lilly Lim-Camacho 1

  1. NCCARF, Parklands Drive, Southport, QLD, Australia
  2. CSIRO, Canberra, ACT, Australia
  3. CSIRO, Townsville, QLD, Australia
  4. CSIRO, Hobart, TAS, Australia

Climate change will have direct and indirect effects on the natural resources and human communities and will also exacerbate the existing pressures that are managed by NRM groups and the responses of people and the environment to these pressures. Although NRM groups have been involved in developing adaptive NRM plans (including strategic, investment and detailed management plans) for their regions for long periods of time, most of the NRM plans in Australia have not yet fully accounted for climate change nor fully considered actions aimed at adapting to climate change.

Despite this, many existing actions remain relevant while others may need tweaking discarding or reprioritising. We have developed a framework and approach to support NRM planners to take stock of their plans, evaluate the degree of climate readiness, and assess the forms of action required to develop a climate ready plan. The approach has been designed to be consistent with existing NRM planning approaches: from adaptive management to resilience and risk management frameworks. The approach is developed to be fit for purpose and non-prescriptive, but rather to highlight what the main issues are and support gradual improvement by learning from doing.  In this enabling approach we include discussion on a number of key challenges that are faced and provide a checklist for NRM planning frameworks.  Our approach is intended to support self-evaluation by NRM groups of their current ability to meet these four challenges.  It is built around five common stages or components: (i) assessment, (ii) strategic planning, (iii) implementation planning and action, (iv) monitoring, and (v) reflection.

Using the ‘personality’ of organisations to focus their climate adaptation effort (914)

Veronica Doerr 1 , Alistair Hobday 2 , Nadine Marshall 3

  1. CSIRO, Canberra, ACT, Australia
  2. CSIRO, Hobart, Australia
  3. CSIRO, Townsville, Australia

Climate adaptation presents numerous challenges for organizations and it should be useful to identify which aspects are likely to be more difficult and thus require greater focus.  Just as a person’s personality can have a strong influence on what they find easy and what they find challenging, so the ‘personality’ of organisations – the way they approach planning and decision-making and their internal cultures – may influence which aspects of climate adaptation they find most challenging.  We defined eight aspects of organisational ‘personality’ that could be related to the ability to adapt to climate change, modifying existing theory about the adaptive capacity of individuals.  We surveyed Australia’s regional natural resource management (NRM) groups to characterize their traits in relation to these eight aspects of personality.  We then used cluster analysis and trait mapping to define five general types of NRM groups.  We found that group type was unrelated to geographic location or types of land uses, but five of our aspects of personality did help define group types.  We suggest different ways in which each type of group may find climate adaptation difficult simply because adaptation will conflict with existing organisational processes and cultures.  These processes likely represent effective ways to handle other planning challenges, so rather than replace them, we suggest our typology can help organisations target the processes and approaches they may need to supplement or modify to succeed at adapting to climate change.

Applying the Adaptation Pathways concept to Natural Resources Management (915)

Russell Gorddard 1 , Michael Dunlop 1 , Paul Ryan 2 , Russell Wise 1

  1. CSIRO, Canberra, ACT, Australia
  2. Interface NRM, Beechworth , VIC, Australia

The concept of adaptation pathways has been developed as a suitably general way to frame complex adaptation problems (Wise et al GCE 2013). We describe a method for applying the adaptation pathways concept to enable Catchment authorities to more effectively account for climate change in NRM strategies.  The method was trialled in a workshop with representatives from agencies in ACT, NSW, SA and Vic, using four case studies focusing on bush fire, ground water, remnant vegetation protection, and transitions in agricultural systems.  Key steps in the process were: understand the current system and how it might possibly change under significant levels of climate change; identifying significant changes in management decisions that might be required; analysing the barriers to making different decisions, particularly associated with knowledge, values and rules; analysing the timing of key decisions; and scoping actions that could be undertaken in the near term targeted at the barriers to future management decisions  We discuss key lessons related to the process, the concepts used, and the scope and implementation of resulting strategies. Developing multiple biophysical futures is a crucial but challenging step in the process. The process enabled climate change to be mainstreamed in some case studies. In others existing roles, activities and planning timeframes may need rethinking.

New climate change projections for natural resource management planning (1093)

Penny Whetton 1 , NRM Projections Team 1

  1. CSIRO, Aspendale, VIC, Australia

A large team of scientists in CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology have now completed new climate change projections for Australia.  These are based on extensive analysis of the CMIP5 climate model ensemble and are focussed on each of fifteen regions around Australia. Associated products include a Technical Report, a series of regional reports, and an extensive website.  These projections form part of a larger project developed with funding from the Commonwealth’s Government Regional Natural Resources Management Planning for Climate Change Fund. This fund was established to support regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) organisations to update their plans to account for likely climate change impacts.  The projections cover a range of variables, such as temperature, precipitation, sea level rise, humidity, and radiation, including some aspects of extremes, such as hot days and extreme rainfall.  Development of these projections included extensive consultation with natural resource management planners and associated impacts and adaptation researchers to ensure that the projections met their needs and expectations. A variety of information is provided to meet a diversity of user needs. Key messages on regional climate change, including confidence statements have been published for narrative focussed use. For further modelling and regional planning projection data sets have been prepared in various user friendly formats. Communication products aimed at a wider audience, such as brochures, have also been developed.

The presentation will illustrate the approach used to develop projections, as well as showing final results across a range of variables and regions.


Planning for a changing climate in the South Coast region – a practical demonstration  (916)

Kaylene Parker 1 , Simon Neville 2

  1. South Coast Natural Resource Management, Albany, WA, Australia
  2. Centre for Excellence in Natural Resource Management, UWA, Australia

Spatial data and a spatial multi-criteria analysis system have been used to assist the integration of climate planning into NRM planning frameworks by South Coast NRM Inc in the South Coast Region of Western Australia.

The process uses the Multi Criteria Analysis Shell (MCAS-S) as the modelling tool. This tool was developed by ABARES to provide a spatial platform for decision-making. Its current implementation to answer a range of spatial policy questions has been in cooperation with other NRM Regions in Western Australia, ensuring a cross-collaborative approach to climate planning.

This presentation will highlight the process used to develop the MCAS-S models, including extensive stakeholder participation in the development of the decision making framework. We will then show how the MCAS-S outputs are being used by regional NRM bodies in Western Australia to support regional NRM Planning for Climate Change.


Bridging the science-policy interface: the value of participatory action-research in planning for climate change in NRM (917)

Karyn Bosomworth 1 , Chris Pitfield 2 , Philip Wallis 3 , Andrew Harwood 4 , Peat Leith 4 , Marty Gent 5 , Rex Candy 6 , Andrew Baldwin 7 , Luke Didams 8 , Paula Camenzuli 9 ,Emmaline Froggett 10 , Shane Scanlon 10 , Liz Hamilton 11 , Sophie Turner 12

  1. RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  2. Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA), Victoria, Australia
  3. Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  5. Glenelg-Hopkins CMA, Victoria, Australia
  6. East Gippsland CMA, Victoria, Australia
  7. NRM North, Tasmania, Australia
  8. NRM South, Tasmania, Australia
  9. West Gippsland, Tasmania, Australia
  10. Port Philip and Westernport CMA, Tasmania, Australia
  11. Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Victoria , Australia
  12. Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Australia’s NRM agencies have recently been developing plans for climate change mitigation (through carbon sequestration) and adaptation. Under a Federal (2012) Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Research Grants Program, project teams are working with nine clusters of regional NRM organisations across the country on using climate change science and information in NRM planning processes. This paper draws on the experience of the Southern Slopes cluster project.

Working with NRM agencies in Tasmania and southern Victoria, the Southern Slopes Climate Change Adaptation Research Partnership (SCARP) is a participatory action-research partnership that operates from a perspective that adaptation planning is best commenced from within the decision-context. This is because the social, institutional and political context of decision-making is viewed as having a greater influence on planning and practice than the supply of science alone.

Co-authored by the partnership’s researchers and practitioners, this paper outlines the highlights and challenges of co-investigating how research can more effectively inform NRM planning for climate change, and of co-producing relevant materials and methods. Collectively we found important roles for institutions and social learning in spanning boundaries between research and planning for climate change in NRM. Moreover, our experiences highlight the value of participatory action-research in facilitating adaptation planning in the NRM sector.