The Murraylands and Riverland region has developed a climate change adaption plan to address the impacts of climate change across the region.
The region has a strong history of working to better understand potential climate change impacts, so the plan has drawn strongly on past studies and reports. Development of the plan has also been informed by the experience and local knowledge of stakeholders from across all major sectors, with over 150 people participating in interviews, workshops, and information and feedback sessions.
The Murraylands and Riverland region's community, economy and environment are well adapted to a variable climate. They have shown great resilience and an ability to withstand severe droughts, however climate change will result in a long-term shift in the region’s climate.
Recognising the challenge that climate change presents, a group of organisations came together to develop the plan. They are:
The aim of the plan is to show how the region can build resilience to the impact of climate change. It also aims to make sure the region is adaptive, sustainable, and continues to be a place where people want to live, visit, invest and conduct business. The plan also addresses the requirements of the climate change adaptation framework for South Australia
The climate change adaptation plan needs to be periodically reviewed, in the spirit of adaptive management, every 2-3 years to consider new information on climate change projections and impacts, and to account for changes in adaptive capacity.
Climate change is a consequence of the release of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide into the Earth’s atmosphere. Greenhouse gases trap the sun’s energy in the Earth’s atmosphere leading to changes in the global climate.
Changes in the Australian climate have already been observed over the past 100 years; the nation’s annual average surface air temperature has increased by about 0.2ºC per decade since 1950, while rainfall has shown a variable but gradual decline.
It was agreed that the adaptation plan needed to focus on the following themes:
The identification of the themes in this list does not mean that other assets, services or characteristics of the region are not vulnerable to climate change, but that they were assessed to be less vulnerable than those listed.
For a complete list of priority issues and actions identified in the plan, please see the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board's adapting to climate change project page, or read the reports in the related below.