National Climate Change Adaptation Research Plan: Freshwater BiodiversityBy:
The Freshwater Biodiversity NARP is concerned with the identification of climate adaptation research priorities for freshwater species and ecosystems. These research priorities should support governments, conservation agencies, landowners, community organisations and individuals to implement effective climate change adaptation initiatives for freshwater species and ecosystems. These initiatives will take advantage of opportunities for freshwater biodiversity that result from climate change and will reduce unavoidable detrimental climate change impacts.
Climate change will affect Australia’s freshwater biodiversity in highly variable ways, depending on the types and locations of both climate impacts, and freshwater species and ecosystems. Adaptation responses to climate change impacts will be required in response to the specific effects experienced, together with the challenges they present in terms of opportunities and detrimental impacts in each location.
The Freshwater Biodiversity NARP identifies a research program for a five to seven year timeframe. Adaptation research for freshwater biodiversity is fundamentally about generating information, knowledge and tools concerned with determining:
- why and to what extent freshwater species and ecosystems are vulnerable to or able to benefit from climate change,
- what their adaptive capacity might be,
- how their adaptive capacity can be increased,
- how the management of freshwater biodiversity can integrate climate change information, knowledge and tools, and
- what the implications of this integration are for policies, plans and on-ground management of freshwater biodiversity.
Adaptation research is interdisciplinary. It needs to address stakeholder understanding, institutional factors, management practices and end user needs, as well as the biophysical and technical aspects of climate change adaptation. In addition, adaptation must take account of the many factors that already impact on freshwater biodiversity, how they may be affected by climate change, and what new factors may result from climate change impacts and from society’s responses to climate change.
Current factors include the effects of water diversion and catchment management projects on water quality and quantity; future factors may include water use by increased forest development associated with carbon sequestration initiatives.
This NARP identifies five broad areas of research:
- incorporating climate change adaptation into the management of freshwater species and ecosystems,
- identifying climate change adaptation options for Australia’s freshwater biodiversity refugia,
- understanding climate change adaptation interactions between the freshwater biodiversity sector and other sectors,
- supporting environmental policies and goals to protect freshwater biodiversity under changing climate conditions, and
- ensuring that adaptation initiatives for freshwater biodiversity, and for other sectors, are mutually supportive and integrated where appropriate.
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Recommended Document Citation
Bates B., Bunn S., Baker P,. Cox M., Hopkins A., Humphreys B., Lakes S., Willgoose G., & Young B. (2011) National Climate Change Adaptation Research plan for freshwater biodiversity. Gold Coast, Australia: National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/virtual-library/national-climate-change-adaptation-...