Enhancing climate-adaptation responses in regional NRM planning by incorporating resilience investment  

Project start date: 01/10/2023
Project end date: 31/12/2026
NESP funding: $700,000 (GST-exclusive)

Natural resource management (NRM) organisations across Australia face the significant challenge of safeguarding Australia’s biodiversity and landscapes against threats posed by climate change. Climate change is a major risk to Australian biodiversity – biodiversity that provides the resilience (response diversity) needed for nature, people and economies to cope, adapt and transform under a changing climate. Unfortunately, in many cases, there isn’t enough funding to fully implement NRM land-management strategies, with some unable to be implemented at all.

Extensive replanting across a degraded sand dune environment. NRM PlanningEnvironmental Rehabilitation Area. Photo: Adwo/Adobestock

Through this pilot project, we’re enhancing regional NRM planning processes to consider and demonstrate the benefits that biodiversity provides. These benefits include reducing the effects of climate change and the risk of natural disasters. Our researchers are generating options and opportunities to enable NRM regions to adapt and transform with these changing risks.

Hub researchers are also improving our understanding of what causes funding deficits for biodiversity adaptation interventions and how this can be addressed. This is being done by modifying and applying the ‘enabling resilience investment’ approach in a pilot project in one NRM region in Australia.

The enabling resilience investment approach comprises a suite of adaptable methods, tools, processes and practices for supporting stakeholders to create adaptation/transition pathways that build from where stakeholders are at to where they want to be. This includes building initiatives, coalitions and capabilities within and across communities, business and government, and developing investment processes and methods in applied projects.

This project draws upon lessons and capabilities from across regional NRM organisations in different parts of Australia. It will demonstrate how to introduce the critical elements of adaptation assessments and stakeholder engagement needed for building investment cases that attract funding and finance. These elements are often left out of traditional adaptation and resilience assessment and planning processes.

By incorporating adaptation and resilience thinking into regional NRM planning processes, this project will contribute to the design and delivery of projects that attract investments and deliver long-term environmental, social and economic benefits under a changing climate. This project aims to generate transferable principles, lessons and capabilities that can be transferred or scaled across NRM regions in Australia.

Key research areas

To support Australian biodiversity to adapt to climate change, provide benefits to Australian communities, reduce risks of disaster and build resilience to climate impacts, this project is:

  • adapting and enhancing the enabling resilience investment approach to improve regional NRM planning and investment processes
  • introducing the stakeholder engagement necessary to attract financing
  • generating transferable principles and lessons that can be scaled across other NRM regions in Australia.