Key evaluation questions in the adaptive management framework include prompts for considering what the desired future looks like, given prevailing and possible future circumstances, and what the threats and opportunities are of achieving that future. It is likely that this approach will also reveal the five or six critical threats to a system: there are strong correlations between an adaptive pathways approach and a risk management approach.
The use of a familiar management tool such as a risk management procedure is likely to expedite common understanding between stakeholders so that rapid, shared responses can be achieved. The Goulburn Broken CMA’s risk management procedure, including use of its risk register, is being explored. The use of a risk management procedure in this way broadens its use beyond its usual focus on discrete issues to consideration of impacts on the resilience of the whole system.
The risk management procedure, as part of the adaptive management framework, includes regular, periodic reviews. The Goulburn Broken CMA Board’s mandatory responsibility of regularly reviewing the risks highlighted in its risk register makes it a useful vehicle in implementing a truly adaptive approach.
Climate is one of several key drivers of a SES’s functioning, and changes in climate will prompt the need for reviewing significant decisions on managing critical threats to the system.