Natural Resource Management
Natural Resource Management (NRM) is the planning and implementing of changes in regional land use and conservation in the face of changing climate, markets and community interest.
This is especially important with recent Australian Government requirements for climate-ready natural resource management plans. Developing and implementing plans that will improve the condition of soil, water, plants and animals requires good information and innovative analysis.
Researchers have brought together regional information on soils, water, vegetation, land use, infrastructure, demographics and economics to make projections to inform changing land use. Researchers are focused on piloting landscape futures analysis projects in the Eyre Peninsula and South Australian Murray NRM regions. These projects will assess the impacts of climate change and inform adaptation planning with a focus on biodiversity and carbon biosequestration (capturing carbon using biological processes).
A new software tool is to be developed that will allow NRM staff to pose "what if" questions using regional information and climate change scenarios. Maps will illustrate how the landscape will look and function. Regional decision makers will be better informed about the consequences of their proposals. They can then more reliably assess which the best options for their region given the level of bio-physical, social and economic risk they feel comfortable with.
Key contacts are built through engagement with state and environment agencies, as well as regional NRM boards, general managers and technical staff. The Landscape Futures Program facilitates collaborative projects in landscape science and can be expanded to other regional areas enabling communities, and Australia, to be more ready for the impacts of climate change.