The purpose of integrating climate and carbon into the Rangelands NRM plan is to help guide the types and locations of activities under the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) and Biodiversity Fund to maximise the benefits for biodiversity, water and agricultural production in a way that is driven by regional stakeholders.
This project was undertaken to begin to provide a framework for integrating both predicted climate change, and carbon economy projects, into the Rangelands NRM Plan. The integration of climate impacts into the planning process will allow for “adaptation” to potential future climate. Identification and integration of carbon economy risks and opportunities into the planning process will allow for improved “mitigation” of human impacts on climate change.
While there is a large amount of background material available in the full report, the approach is summarised here so that end-users of the plan can see how the process was undertaken, and so that it can be repeated or modified in the future.
Summary of approach
- Desktop review of forecast changes to regional climate (Predicted climate change lists)
- Desktop review of NRM project types to protect or improve condition of environmental asset (NRM Projects List)
- Desktop review of carbon legislation and carbon project types (Carbon Projects List)
- Based on professional judgement identify Carbon Projects with Potential Negative Impacts on Regional NRM Goals
- Refer to NRM Project List for actions to mitigate threats to assets
- Are the forecast climate changes for the region likely to impact the delivery of the desired management actions?
- Is it likely that carbon sequestration or emissions avoidance projects in the vicinity (~5km or less) of the environmental asset will negatively impact the desired management action/s?
- Is it possible that the desired management actions could be funded at least in part in the future through the sale of carbon credits?
This allows for the re-ranking of all INFFER ranked assets and potential projects, to determine which had the greatest chance of success under future climate and carbon economy scenarios
The approach outlined here represents the process undertaken for the initial phase of integrating climate and the carbon economy into the Rangelands NRM Regional Plan. This approach is intended to ensure that the greatest NRM benefit is derived from the carbon economy and any potential negative impacts are minimised. Using this approach, the revised plan provides guidance for carbon and Biodiversity Fund project developments in the region. By combining this “climate and carbon” approach with the INFFER prioritisation process, the priority projects selected for action and funding will have the greatest chance of protecting NRM assets into the future. Importantly, the process driven by local participants who have the best on ground knowledge about the condition of assets, and the work required to improve their condition.
Continually updating the relevant lists and how they relate to NRM regional priorities will ensure that the Rangelands NRM plan continues to gives clear advice to land managers on what projects have the greatest chance of success and ensuring that NRM investment is able to achieve relevant and worthwhile asset protection.