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Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Strategy

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Climate change strategies and plans

7. Focus Areas for Climate Change Adaptation and Management Options

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The assessment of adaptation priority considers vulnerability plus value (see figure 12 below). Table 7 below outlines the criteria used to assess value.

Figure 12: The adaptation priority assessment framework (adapted from Schröter undated by Clifton and Pelikan 2014).

Table 7: Value assessment criteria and rationale (Clifton and Pelikan 2014).

1 Biodiversity value

Relative priority for adaptation increases with biodiversity value. Key biodiversity assets provide core habitat or habitat corridors to allow migration of species towards core habitat areas that are potentially important climate refuges.

Note: NaturePrint was used to identify key biodiversity values in Catchment. The value of fragmented landscapes across the foothills of the Catchment, which provide key connections from the Murray corridor in the north to the intact vegetation in the south of the Catchment, was increased from the mid-range to high in order for NaturePrint to better reflect the values identified in the Biodiversity Strategy for the Goulburn Broken Catchment (Miles et al 2010).

1 Stream reach and wetland value

Priority for adaptation increases according to the overall ecological, economic and social value attributed to particular stream reaches and wetlands. Value is considered in combination with the level of threat faced by each stream reach (which makes the approach consistent with the consideration of functional landscapes in biodiversity value).

Note: Incorporation of waterway and wetland values reflects the approach taken in the Goulburn Broken Waterway Strategy 2014-2022 (GB CMA 2014).

2 Consequence of loss Harm from pressures such as bushfire and flooding. The criterion incorporates three components, as follows:
  • Environmental: a measure of environmental values that may be at risk of loss at particular locations
  • Economic production: a measure of economic production values associated with land uses which may be at risk of loss at particular locations
  • Economic infrastructure: measure of economic infrastructure that may be at risk at particular locations.
3 Micro-refugia

Micro-refugia are locations in the landscape where topography and aspect, particularly, provide some protection from the effects of fire and drought and help to ensure a regular and consistent supply of water.

Note: this criterion contributes to a preference for drought and fire refugia being considered as priority areas for climate change adaptation.

4 Land value Economic value of land is represented by the land use classification. This will be interpreted in a different way to the sensitivity assessment. Priority for adaptation should increase with the attributed value of the land use.
5 Floodplain value Economic value of floodplains is represented by land use classification. Environmental values are represented in biodiversity, stream reach and wetland values.

Please note: there is only a slight variation in weightings.

Eleven focus areas have been identified for climate change adaptation (see figures 13 and 14 below).

Focus areas have been identified in two types of landscapes; each are of high value but differ in vulnerability under the climate change scenario for 2030:

  • Planned adaptation priority focus areas have higher sensitivity and lower adaptive capacity and are of high value.
    Such areas should be considered first for developing and implementing management programs to address vulnerability to climate change. Subsequent assessments of factors such as feasibility of intervention, return on investment and natural resource condition with respect to impact thresholds should determine if such management programs proceed. Some major waterways showing a high priority for adaptation have not been included in the focus areas (for example, Broken Creek and upper reaches of the Broken River) as they are not associated with adjoining areas of adaptation priority. These waterways and other smaller or more dispersed areas showing an adaptation priority can be considered for investment in management options as resourcing allows.
  • Semi-autonomous adaptation priority focus areas have lower sensitivity and higher adaptive capacity under current management and tenure arrangements and are of high value. This suggests that for these areas, specific adaptation management interventions may not be required above current management and tenure arrangements. However, given the relatively high asset values present, a “watching brief” should be maintained to detect any changes in natural resource condition that suggests the need for adaptation. Since vulnerability to climate change is projected to increase over time, it is possible that some semi-autonomous adaptation priority areas could become priority areas for planned adaptation in the future.

The development of management options in this Plan represents only the first step in a process of detailed adaptive management planning for the Goulburn Broken CMA. Subsequent steps will need to engage with stakeholders and communities while continuing to investigate and understand the interactions between social-ecological systems and drivers of change and how key points of vulnerability to natural resources may be overcome plus the feasibility and effectiveness of adaptation options.

The process for conceptualising and evaluating adaptation options is outlined in section 3.4. The results of this process are presented below. The DPSIR analyses have been considered where they specify new or additional adaptation options for climate-related drivers or pressures (Clifton and Pelikan 2014).

Figure 13: Focus areas in the Goulburn Broken Catchment for semi-autonomous climate change adaptation under the 2030 climate change scenario RCP 4.5

Figure 14: Focus areas in the Goulburn Broken Catchment for planned climate change adaptation under the 2030 climate change scenario RCP 4.5

Please note: These maps are not intended to incorporate all decision-making elements but represent an initial prioritisation for climate change adaptation based on spatially-enabled criteria for vulnerability and value. Vulnerability is used to highlight locations and issues to focus further analysis, including risk assessment and management. These maps should be considered in conjunction with the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Natural Resource Management in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, Victoria, 2016 in its entirety.

Assessment criteria and rationale can be found in section 5 (exposure and sensitivity), section 6 (adaptive capacity) and section 7 (above).

Has the most appropriate information been used for the priority assessment? If not, why? Please provide details of other information.