Synopsis 6 – Planning for adaptation in natural resource management

Chair: Barton Loechel


Selecting climate futures for NRM planning: making the best use of new and prior information (945)

Veronica Doerr 1 , Linda Marie Broadhurst 1

  1. CSIRO, Canberra, ACT, Australia
The concept of ‘climate futures’ was developed (by the CSIRO/BoM Projections team) to make planning based on hundreds of available climate model projections more tractable.  The climate futures framework groups models into categories based on amount of change, then calculates which futures are suggested by the greatest proportion of models to aid with selection of a few representative futures for planning.  However, an additional challenge in NRM planning is that information from multiple domains (e.g. agriculture, biodiversity, water) must be integrated.  It would be inappropriate to integrate derived impacts and adaptation information from different domains that was derived based on different climate futures.  As much of this domain-specific information already exists, the process of selecting climate futures for planning must take into account the futures for which information is already available, not just likelihood or representativeness.  We developed a process for selecting climate futures that integrates knowledge of their likelihood at different time periods with the availability of additional impacts and adaptation products.  The process was developed for the regional NRM groups in the lower Murray River Basin, but is applicable to any organisation that needs to integrate information from multiple domains and make the best use of existing information alongside the new climate futures framework.  We describe our process, and suggest it provides a concrete method for envisioning and planning for multiple futures – one of the core challenges of climate adaptation.

Engaging Australia: lessons from the AdaptNRM engagement strategy (946)

Lilly Lim-Camacho 1 , Barton Loechel 1 , Christopher Cvitanovic 2 , Veronica Doerr 2

  1. CSIRO, Kenmore, QLD, Australia
  2. CSIRO, Black Mountain, Australia

Across Australia, natural resource management (NRM) groups are currently undertaking a process of incorporating climate change and adaptation information into planning processes. However, they are faced with the significant task of identifying, interpreting, prioritising and utilising information that is currently available, with even more information available to them in the near future. To support this process, CSIRO is developing a suite of climate adaptation information packages for NRM groups nationally, with the aim of providing information that is relevant for NRM planning. Here we reflect on the National NRM Impact and Adaptation Project’s engagement strategy, AdaptNRM, and how it has worked so far with NRM groups Australia-wide in developing and delivering these information packages. We reflect on lessons learned from the AdaptNRM engagement model utilising data from evaluation surveys and other direct feedback. Our aim is to stimulate discussion in order to generate strategies for better engaging with practitioners and end-users at broad scales. Our experience shows us that clarity of objectives, clarity of roles, managing expectations and an allowance for flexibility are key in ensuring successful engagement. However, we ask the question – how can we improve the AdaptNRM engagement model to arrive at a well-informed, empowered and climate-adapted NRM community?


The use of Bayesian Network Modelling to facilitate adaptation within regional NRM Planning in the Condamine River Catchment (1125)

Jenifer Ticehurst 1 , Carl Mitchell 2 , Lucy Richardson 2

  1. ANU, Acton, ACT, Australia
  2. Condamine Alliance, Toowoomba

Natural resource management (NRM) planning must be adaptive to provide a robust framework within which catchment communities can best manage their natural resources. The use of Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) models to describe relationships between catchment management and ecosystem responses are a useful way of building consensus, developing a conceptual understanding of catchment processes among stakeholders and providing a virtual space to test management scenarios and develop most appropriate strategies for catchment management.

Condamine Alliance, in Southern Queensland, with the Australian National University are developing a BBN model to support the update of their NRM Plan. The update will address climate adaptation and emerging issues such as mining impact.

The conceptual underpinning of the BBN model has been developed with key stakeholders through consensus and pooled knowledge. A web delivered communications version of the model is being developed to enable the community to test standard scenarios and to use as a participatory learning tool. The model will allow plan developers to test targets and strategies.

The BBN will be used to help determine management required for key landuses to achieve land, water and wildlife targets. The modelling will be integrated with a pressure-state-response monitoring program to check and adapt management. Future land use scenarios will be modelled, identifying where adaptation may not be sufficient for resource health.

The natural resource management plan will be web based to allow greater flexibility as new knowledge arises, constraints change and model is improved. Resulting in a more adaptive NRM plan.


Are we there yet? Integrated water sensitive open space planning for climate change adaptation (947)

Gemma Schuch 1

  1. Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Water sensitive planning has been touted as an important climate change adaptation response to the increasing frequency and severity of both flooding and drought episodes. In particular, open space planning can play an important role in water sensitive cities through its potential to establish and maintain a range of hydrological functions in open space networks using water sensitive urban design principles. This requires an effective integration of water management, climate change adaptation and open space planning at catchment and regional levels.

However, in practice evidence of effective integration of knowledge of hydrological connections and climate change adaptation into open space planning appears to be achieved to varying degrees.  This paper examines urban planning and strategic documents by authorities and local governments in South East Queensland, Melbourne, and Perth and examines the extent of such integration at a regional level. It proposes the development of a framework to better integrate planning for open spaces as an ally to water resource management in the face of changing rainfall patterns, and changing flood and drought risks.


Adapting water resource management in coastal area: A case study in Hai Phong, Vietnam (949)

Thuc Phan 1 , Jim Smart 1 , Samantha Capon 1 , Wade Hadwen 1

  1. Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

The port city of Hai Phong is the third largest city in Vietnam. It has been experiencing fast economic growth for the last few decades. However, this growth has been posing serious water resource challenges in terms of water pollution. Furthermore, climate change impacts like sea level rise and changes in rainfall and river flow patterns threaten to exacerbate these problems. This study aims at identifying the current and future interrelationships between water availability from a freshwater river system and the growing water demands from industry, agriculture and urban sectors in the context of climate change and water pollution. A theoretical framework for this study is initially being developed to clarify the effects of climate change and water pollution on current and future trends that would impede sustainable water supply of fresh water river system for the anticipated growth demands for domestic, agricultural and industrial uses. These effects will be analyzed by coupling dynamic hydrological and Decision Bayesian Network models. These decision support tools will be used to initiate the most plausible options for adaptation actions that could be used to improve and maintain water resource system reliability despise the increased stresses from climate change, water pollution and population growth. The proposed theoretical framework will be improved through comprehensive and professional advice from researchers participating in the NCCARF conference with a view to developing a feasible and robust academic research project which will contribute to the development of collective and decisive adaptation actions for water resource management in Hai Phong.


Ensuring Top End river systems can buffer the impacts of climate change (1124)

Anna Boustead 1

  1. Environment Centre NT, Darwin, NT, Australia

Top End river system are central to the lives of Traditional Owners, support large recreational and commercial fisheries and are vital to the survival of many threatened and migratory species. Many Top End river systems are already experiencing the pressures of over-allocation, increased spread of weeds, changed fire regimes, extended hot spells and increased evaporation rates in an already highly variable climate. How can we ensure that our rivers endure the impacts of climate change and are able to continue to host an immense biodiversity, as well as to provide food, water, recreational services and cultural services to growing Top End communities?


Responses in tissue water relations and growth in a C4 and C3 forage grasses to elevated ambient CO2 (950)

Solomon Mwendia 1 2 , Isa Yunusa 1 , Ralph Whalley 1 , Brian Sindel 1 , Innocent Kariuki 2

  1. University of New England, NSW, Australia
  2. Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

Rising ambient CO2 is associated with global warming and is known to alter rainfall patterns with increased risk of crop failures. Plant species differ in their response to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration. We determined leaf water potential (LWP), water use efficiency and biomass yields in Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) a C4grass and Reed (Phragmites australis)a C3grass exposed to ambient and 560ppm CO2concentrations in glasshouse bays maintained at 15/25oC for 5 weeks. Napier grass is an important forage in tropics while Reed is occasionally used for forage. The aim was to determine how the two grasses differ in the measured attributes when subjected to water stress under the different CO2concentrations.

Elevated CO2 did not have significant effect on either predawn or midday LWP in both grasses in the first two weeks following withdrawal of watering. Between the grasses, C3 had more negative LWP than C4at predawn or midday under both CO2concentrations. By the third week after water withdrawal, both grasses maintained similar predawn and midday LWP under both COconcentrations, but the midday LWP was less negative in P. purpureum under elevated COthan ambient CO2. Compared with ambient concentration, elevated CO2concentration increased biomass accumulation by 72% in Napier grassand 9% in Reed. The photosynthetic water use efficiency increased by 97% in P. purpureumand by 64% in P. australis. It was concluded that elevated CO2 is more likely to enhance biomass accumulation in the Napier grass than in the Reed.