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Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Strategy

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Climate change strategies and plans

2. Background

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The Goulburn Broken CMA coordinates NRM in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, Victoria, guided by the Goulburn Broken Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS). The Goulburn Broken CMA develops and coordinates the implementation of the Goulburn Broken RCS in collaboration with the community, all tiers of government, regional authorities and research and funding organisations.

Major challenges for NRM in the Goulburn Broken Catchment include degraded river health, reduced extent and quality of native vegetation, reduced water quality and quantity, dryland and irrigated salinity, loss of biodiversity, and pest plant and pest animal invasion. These challenges are all being exacerbated by climate change.

Regional climate projections developed by the CSIRO for the Murray Basin (of which the Goulburn Broken Catchment is part) indicate that climate change will have the following impacts on the future climate (Timbal et al. 2015):

  • average temperatures will continue to increase in all seasons (very high level of confidence).
  • hotter and more frequent hot days and longer warm spells (very high level of confidence).
  • fewer frosts (high level of confidence).
  • less rainfall during the cool season by 2090 (high level of confidence).
  • increased intensity of heavy rainfall events (high level of confidence).
  • a harsher fire-weather climate (high level of confidence).
  • increased evaporation (high level of confidence).
  • on an annual and decadal basis, natural variability in the climate system can act to either mask or enhance any long-term human-induced trend.
  • snowfall and maximum snow depth will continue to decline (high level of confidence).

The development of this Plan was supported by funding from Stream 1 of the Australian Government’s Regional Natural Resource Management Planning for Climate Change Fund. The Fund was established to improve regional NRM planning and use of climate change science, information and scenarios to plan for the impacts of climate change. This Plan aligns with the following principles of the Fund (DSEWPaC 2012):

  • identify priority landscapes for carbon plantings (see section 8) and strategies to build landscape integrity and guide adaptation and mitigation actions (see section 7) to address climate change impacts on natural ecosystems (see sections 4, 5 and 6).
  • the planning process is logical, comprehensive and transparent (see section 3).
  • best available information is used to develop actions (see sections 3, 5 and 6) and are based on collaboration with government, community and other stakeholders (see below).

The development of this Plan has been managed by a multi-organisation steering committee (see Acknowledgements) and has been informed by extensive consultation with:

  • Goulburn Broken CMA staff and Board
  • local, State and Commonwealth government representatives
  • representatives from NRM organisations across Victoria and the Murray Basin
  • research institutions
  • expert consultants
  • community and industry representatives

See Appendix A for more detail on stakeholder and community consultation activities.