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Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Strategy

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Climate change strategies and plans

10.1 Elements of an adaptive management framework

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Given the need for timely responses at a large scale, involving many and varied stakeholders in joint action, the primary driver behind the framing of an adaptive approach is the need for shared agreement. This in turn drives the need for information to be sorted thoroughly in terms of timeframes and geographic scales to help target the different types of decision-maker.

Adaptive management has its roots in evaluation, with an added emphasis on what will be done about what is learnt from the evaluation.

The aim of the adaptive management framework is to ready or prepare for the unexpected, building in flexibility so that a response can be made as circumstances change.

The Goulburn Broken CMA’s planning cycles for the Shepparton Irrigation Region/Agricultural Floodplains, which are common to many CMA endeavours, were used to establish key evaluation questions and identify and order items of evidence for answering the questions. These elements are subsequently being used, with minor modifications, for local plans for the other social-ecological systems identified in the Goulburn Broken RCS to initially structure a strategic approach to planning and establish a rigorous approach to evaluation and adaptation (see table 10). Reviews of the Shepparton Irrigation Region Land and Water Management Plan and Goulburn Broken CMA Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Strategy are under way. Refer to section 11 for details of how this Plan will be evaluated.


Use the Goulburn Broken CMA’s adaptive management framework for SES local plans and for implementing the Goulburn Broken CMA’s Climate Change Integration Strategy and Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

Table 10: Evaluation process for local plans for SESs in the Goulburn Broken Catchment

Visioning and scoping Example: Is the long term vision
for the system right?
To be determined by stakeholders
Strategic approach Examples:
  • Do the mid-term (5-year) strategic approaches need to change?
  • What progress is being made towards the strategic approaches?
Annual priorities Example: Do the preferred
investment priorities need to
change this year?


  • What annual progress was made?
  • What progress has been made in implementing the local plan?
  • What are the risks to the future of the system?