A plan for the adaptation of Queensland’s biodiversity and ecosystems to combat the effects of climate change, like increasingly impactful heatwaves, droughts, fires, cyclones and floods, was launched beside D’Aguilar National Park today (9 November).
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Climate Adaptation Plan identified priority measures for the management of climate change impacts on Queensland’s unique biodiversity and ecosystems.
“The plan supports a future of more collaborative problem-solving, planning and strategic implementation of actions by governments, the private sector and civil society to minimise the negative impacts of climate change on Queensland’s unique biodiversity and ecosystems,” Minister Enoch said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is proud that the biodiversity and ecosystems sector is actively participating in state-wide preparations for climate change, such as projected ongoing changes in temperature and rainfall, whose impacts will intensify.
“More than 180 stakeholders from the biodiversity and ecosystems sector helped to identify the challenges of climate change in the context of existing challenges facing Queensland’s species and natural systems, and how to address these”.
“Responding to climate change across all sectors is one of the Palaszczuk Government’s top priorities and involves collaboratively developing and implementing a range of plans to reflect the characteristics and needs of each client group.
“The Palaszczuk Government is leading the way in combating climate change, with ambitious targets and initiatives to drive down emissions and restore our natural environment.
“In fact, just yesterday I met with the Chairs of Queensland’s terrestrial World Heritage Advisory Committees—conservation stakeholders who know the importance of collaboration when it comes to building the resilience of Queensland’s five World Heritage properties”.
“The plan highlights the seriousness of preparing for the negative impacts of a changing climate on Queensland’s unique wealth of species and ecosystems, because together we must ensure that essential services provided by nature to all of us, can continue.
“We all know how clean air, soil and water are vital to our health, and many of us also know from experience just how important contact with nature is for our psychological wellbeing.
“Indeed, science has shown the restorative benefits to us when we connect with nature, and how this benefit increases with richer, more complex natural environments to interact with.
“That’s why this plan to protect our biodiversity is so important. It’s yet another reminder that we’re adapting to changing times and we’ll continue to work closely with our partner agencies and stakeholders to improve our ability to respond to climate change.”
National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility’s (NCCARF) Dr Sarah Boulter and consultant ecologist, Dr Cath Moran, who led development of the plan, welcomed the response from the diverse stakeholders of Queensland’s biodiversity and ecosystems sector in contributing to the plan by identifying sector-specific climate risks, gaps and barriers, and principles and steps for adaptation action.
“The feedback from stakeholders was critical in developing the Plan’s underlying adaptation principles, and identifying five action areas to build the sector’s capacity to incorporate climate change adaptation into management decisions and practices,” Dr Boulter, Senior Research Fellow, NCCARF, said.
Dr Cath Moran said the quality ofcollaboration by the sector on the Plan sets it up tobe a pivotal guide for partnerships and progress on climate change adaptation planning, decision-making and management for biodiversity and ecosystems.
“Under the high-level Plan, the five action areas provide a guide for the sector to incorporate climate adaptation considerations into legislation, policies, management plans and actions, on-ground adaptation work and research.”
The plan is the sixth sector adaption plan to be launched under the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy (QCAS) 2017–2030. https://www.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/67301/qld-climate-adaptation-strategy.pdf
It is part of the Queensland Government’s climate change response, launched last year, which aims to achieve zero net emissions by 2050 with a vision of an innovative and resilient Queensland that manages the risks and harnesses the opportunities of a changing climate.
The government, through the Department of Environment and Science, engaged the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) and Cath Moran, Ecological Consultancy, to lead the plan’s development.
The Biodiversity and Ecosystems Climate Adaptation Plan is available at: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/climate/climate-change/sectors-systems