Landscape Science

Landscape Futures Program

Climate Change, Communities & Environment

South Australian Premier’s Science and Research Fund 2009 – 2015

Project introduction: Building research capability to identify climate change vulnerability and adaptation options for South Australian landscapes. 2 pages.  (Link 1.)

  • An introduction to the scope and intention of the project along with listing the partners to be involved.

Colour brochure: Planning to thrive: land uses to suit a changing climate and carbon economy. Summary 4pp. (Link 2.)

  • This is a brief summary of the Climate Change, Communities and Environment project. It identifies the possible future changes of land use and social and economic settings in regions. It sets out how Landscape Futures Analysis was developed and used to identify options that show the likely consequences of alternative future land use scenarios.

Colour brochure describing project: Planning to thrive: land uses to suit a changing climate and carbon economy. Introduction. 16 pages. (Link 3.)

  • This booklet provides a summary of the Climate Change, Communities and Environment (CCCE) project focused on the SA Eyre Peninsula and SA Murray-Darling regions. The components used to develop and apply Landscape Futures Analysis (LFA) in the two regions are identified. LFA showed that for regional communities to be ready for climate change requires: sound research and modelling; engagement between researchers, community, industry and government and; strategic planning for climate adaptation.

Interim report of project: Climate Change, Community and Environment. Draft Interim Final Project Report. 92 pages. (Link 4.)

  • This report presents the development and outcomes to-date of the Premier’s Science and Research Fund Project ‘Building research capability to identify climate change vulnerability and adaptation options for South Australian landscapes’. It provides a comprehensive overview of the project including its background, aims, methodology, key findings and outputs and outcomes to date.

Technical report: Climate Change, Community and Environment. Technical Report (With an emphasis on Eyre Peninsula) June 2012. 247 pages. (Link 5.)

  • This report provides the detailed technical context, content and procedures used to develop and implement the Landscape Futures Analysis, principally for the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources management region of South Australia.

Climate Change, Communities & Environment – Strengthening Basin Communities Program

Milestone 1 report: Climate change impact assessment, adaptation and emerging opportunities for the SA Murray-Darling region.  Milestone 1 Report. 68 pages. August 2010. (Link 7.)

  • The important message from the climate analysis is that measurable changes and trends are occurring. Projections of future trends are not certain, but it is extremely prudent that plans and actions be implemented now since business as usual will not be a viable option for the future. Local government works closely with the community and therefore has a broad range of responsibilities that are and will be affected by local climate conditions. As a general approach to adaptation, it will be important to identify those actions that increase the resilience of the services and community to withstand and bounce back from increased extreme events.

Milestone 2 report: Adaptation and emerging opportunities for the SA Murray-Darling region.  Milestone 2 Report. 35 pages. 54 pages. August 2011. (Link 8.)

  • The South Australian Murray-Darling Basin is one of the state’s most productive regional areas, sustaining major irrigation and dryland farming areas as well as industries like tourism and manufacturing. The recent limited water availability may be a pre-cursor of what is to come. It is important to develop user friendly information that differentiates between climate change scenarios and short-term drought. This report identifies the most likely climate change scenarios, reports on regional stakeholder engagement and identifies several opportunities that the region would like to explore.

Milestone 2 report – continued: SA Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Region. Climate Change Scenarios Information. 48 pages. August 2011. (Link 9.)

  • The most likely future for the region is a drier future with potentially greater variability in available water for irrigation. While there is widespread awareness about the general concept of climate change there is need for communities and industries to engage in planning and implementing an integrated approach to climate change across the whole region. Adaptation can best be achieved by a leadership model with capacity to foster connections between all levels of government and the community. While there is evidence of adaptation to climate change already happening, it would benefit from considering a future with a low carbon economy and improved strategies to consider vulnerability and risk management frameworks.

Milestone 2 report – continued: SA Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Region. Outcomes of Stakeholder Engagement. 24 pages. August 2011. (Link 10.)

  • This report summarises the results of the community engagement process undertaken through to November 2010 for the Strengthening Basin Communities Program. The following headings capture the main concerns expressed by stakeholders – adapting with certainty, identifying recent adaptation, need for urgency in adaptation, identifying the capacity to adapt, identifying the adaptation priorities, having a whole of regions adaptation process, generating a critical mass and identifying and supporting leaders.

Milestone 3 report: Climate change impact assessment report for the SA Murray-Darling region.  Milestone 3 Report. 57 pages. November 2011 (Link 11.)

  • This report identifies the likely effects of climate change on agriculture in the region associated with the underlying driving processes. It identifies a set of potential emergent industries that could result from adaptation actions as well as examining the possible effects on regional tourism and mining. There is further consideration of the possible effects of sea level rise associated with inundation, coastal erosion, soil salinity and salt water intrusion into aquifers.

Discussion paper: Strengthening Basin Communities Program, Climate Change Adaptation Project – Horticultural and Rural Lands Review Policy Direction. Discussion Paper. 109 pages. December 2011. (Link 12.)

  • This report seeks to build resilience within the communities of the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (SA MDB) by providing for flexibility in land use planning, to accommodate future land use trends under predicted climate change scenarios. The guiding principles were identified at a strategic level and these in turn should influence all development plans and help to guide development and changes in agricultural production. From this, a set of high and medium priority policy direction recommendations were identified.

Consultation position paper: Local Energy security study (LESS) for The South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Community (SA MDB). 54 pages. December 2011 (Link 13)

  • A region’s energy economy can be seen as a vital input into the broader regional economy. Energy Security will be greater the more there is local economic benefit along the energy value chain. Energy security is lower when a region relies on simply importing energy in its final forms. The region was assessed as having greater than average reliance on energy as an input. It had an infrastructure capacity constraint but a significant renewable energy resource potential. There appeared to be a good appetite among the community to harness the significant human potential that exists in the region.

Milestone 4 report: Strengthening Basin Communities Program, Adaptation and Emerging Opportunities Plan for the SA Murray-Darling region. Milestone 4 Report. 70 pages. December 2011 (Link 14)

  • This report presents the results of the final component of the Strengthening Basin Communities Climate change impact assessment, adaptation and emerging opportunities for the SA Murray-Darling region. It sets out a series of recommendations associated with potential adaptation in primary production, regional renewable energy, tourism, the response of local government, and the need for collaboration, coordination and leadership.

Climate Change, Communities & Environment – Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry FarmReady Industry Grant R1#92 – Riverland Irrigation Futures

Final report: Developing Landholder Capacity to adapt to Climate Risks and Variable Resource Availability in the Bookpurnong and Pyap to Kingston On Murray Regions of the Riverland South Australia. Final Report. 34 pages. February 2012 (Link 15.)

  • The objective of this project was to develop landholder capacity to adapt to the variability and uncertainty associated with climate and water and agricultural production. The project team had extensive engagement and consultation with landholders.  Common themes that emerged were doubts about the reality of climate change, concern at the rapid changes in water regulation and trading and concern about the security of water availability. Following this consultation and collation phase work began on designing the Interactive Land use Strategic Assessment (ILSA) tool.

Project report-assessment tool: Interactive Land use Strategic Assessment (ILSA) Tool: Scientific Methods and Tool Design. Report to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry FarmReady. 46 pages. 2012 (Link 16.)

  • This report describes the interactive demonstration software developed for use by the community to understand implications of adaptation strategy options under alternative climate change assumptions. The main tool developed to facilitate this outcome is a computer-based user interface Interactive Land use Strategic Assessment (ILSA) for enterprise scale planning with combined scientific and individual production circumstance information in an easy to use and practical format.

Fact sheet on tool: Improved planning with ILSA – Fact Sheet. 2 pages. 2012. (Link 17.)

  • Introducing a planning too that will help you understand the effects of variable climate, water availability and prices on your irrigated horticultural farm.

Project key messages: Lower Murray Landscape Futures Project – Key Messages. 2 pages. April 2010. (Link 18.)

  • A business-as-usual approach, based on what has worked in the past, is not likely to work in the future. There is significant evidence that we are moving further and further away from past climate conditions. The implications of these changes for landscapes in southern Australia are far reaching.

Published paper: Interactive land use strategic assessment: An assessment tool for irrigation profitability under climate uncertainty. 11 pages. 2019. (Link 26.)

  • The Interactive Land use Strategic Assessment (ILSA) tool allows irrigators to examine and compare the likely effects of a range uncertain future climates on their individual enterprise along multiple time frames. The scientific basis of the tool is predicated on the influence of the prevailing climate conditions on expected levels of water allocations for irrigation activities under multiple climate scenarios.

South Australian Premier’s Science and Research Fund. Climate Change, Communities and Environment (“3CE”)

Project output listing: Outputs. 4 pages. June 2011. (Link 19.)

  • A listing of: Published papers, Papers submitted, Reports, EP Program Logic, SA MDB Program Logic, Loxton-Bookpurnong LAP, Presentations, Workshops, Brochures and articles, Annual Reports.

Popular article: Science helps SA farm communities adapt to change. ECOS article by Asa Wahlquist. 5 pages. July 2011. (Link 20.)

  • Agriculture is one of the industries most at risk from climate change in Australia. Much of our agriculture occurs on marginal country with increasingly unreliable rainfall and irrigation supplies. Add volatile commodity prices, increased global demand, rising energy costs, increased demands on land managers to protect the environment and biodiversity, new land uses such as biomass, and an emerging carbon market, and it’s clear that Australian farming must change. Professor Wayne Meyer has an audacious vision of a renewable Australian landscape. He sees a landscape that is used for production, but is also in energy, nutrient and water balance: a landscape that retains its biodiversity and supports its regional community.

Project launch speech: PSRF Project – Climate Change, Communities and Environment. Building research capability to identify climate change vulnerability and adaptation options for South Australian landscapes.  Project Launch. 4 pages. 22 October 2009 (Link 21.)

Vision of PSRF Project – Climate Change, Communities and Environment.

  • Project Launch. 22 October 2009 (Link 22.)

Animated PowerPoint video on the value and importance of Landscape Futures Analysis. 4:20. January 2013. (Link 23.)

Animated Power Point video on the value of Nature and what is being lost now.

  • 2:58. February 2013. (Link 24.)

Adobe Flash Player: Applying Landscape Science to Natural Resource Management. Landscape Futures Program. Autoplay with variable timing. November 2012. (Link 25.)

National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF).
Adapted Future Landscapes – from aspiration to implementation.

Introduction paper: Adapted future landscapes – from aspiration to implementation. 2 pages. February 2012. (Link 30.)

  • The need for climate ready regional NRM plans. Helping regions in Australia plan and implement changes in the way the use land for food and conservation in the face of changing climate, markets and the interests of communities is important. This project will work with two NRM regions – the Eyre Peninsula and the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin to embed a planning and implementation process that is climate change informed and built on the best evidence of regional natural resource condition and community wellbeing.

Colour brochure: Landscape Futures Analysis Tool. 4 pages. 2013. (Link 31.)

  • The Landscape Futures Analysis Tool (LFAT) enables users to consider how their region may change under different combinations of climate, carbon and agricultural commodity prices, and the cost of agricultural production. It provides a sound base, rooted in good science, for ‘climate-ready’ planning for biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, weed management and agricultural production.

Report: Adapted Future Landscapes: from aspiration to implementation. Milestone report 2: Current planning and proposed process. 27 June 2012.  (Link 32.)

This is an interim report on progress with:

  • Documenting the current way climate change adaptation planning is undertaken in the NRM regions; and
  • Describes the first elements of a modified planning process that includes local experience, stakeholder envisioning, identifying indicators of success that reflect the shared vision, and components of resilience based planning from other regions and LFA projections.

PowerPoint pdf: Landscape Futures – from aspiration to implementation. 35 slides. August 2012.  (Link33.)

  • An illustrated step-by-step description of the logical need for landscape assessment and planning that sets out the base data sets that are needed, derivation of the data sets, modelling of the spatial distribution of assets, inclusion of the effects of climate change, integration of the driving processes and their effects, and setting out the community and people processes that need to be involved.

Published paper: Simple models for managing complex social-ecological systems: The Landscape Futures Analysis Tool (LFAT). 13 pages. 2015. (Link 34.)

  • Integrated modelling and assessment can facilitate exploration of complex social-ecological interactions and quantify trade-offs in regional policy, planning, and management options. However, there have been challenges in its acceptance and adoption for supporting decisions. Here we overcome this implementation gap through the development of an interactive online tool called the Landscape Futures Analysis Tool (LFAT).

Project description paper: NCCARF Adapted Future Landscapes Project. Landscape futures analysis and NRM planning tool description. 9 pages. August 2012. (Link 35.)

  • This document outlines a software tool which puts landscape futures information into the hands of natural resource managers and decision-makers for closer investigation and analysis. The tool will be developed for two NRM regions:
  1. Eyre Peninsula (EP)
  2. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB).

Project data report: Climate Change, Community and Environment. South Australian Murray Darling Basin NRM Region Datasets. 17 pages. March 2010. (Link 36.)

  • This report sets out the many data sets (mostly publicly available) that need to be assembled to develop a comprehensive description of the resources and their conditions within a particular Natural Resources Management Region.

Project data report: Climate Change, Community and Environment. Eyre Peninsula NRM Region Datasets. 34 pages. March 2010. (Link 37.)

  • This report sets out the many data sets (mostly publicly available) that need to be assembled to develop a comprehensive description of the resources and their conditions within a particular Natural Resources Management Region.

User guide document: Landscape Futures Analysis. Adapted future landscapes. User Guide. 20 pages. 2013. (Link 38.)

  • This User Guide describes the Adapted Future Landscapes approach to supporting NRM planning and decision-making. This approach combines application of the Landscape Futures Analysis Tool (LFAT) as well as a process for engaging stakeholders in determining their vision for the landscape, an important precursor to use of LFAT.

Tutorials for using LFAT: Landscape Futures Analysis. Landscape Futures Analysis Tool (LFAT). 13 pages. 2013. (Link 39.)

  • The following tutorials will guide you through the Landscape Futures Analysis Tool (LFAT) using easy to follow step by step examples. Completing these tutorials will give you a firm understanding of how to operate the Landscape Futures Analysis Tool and how the tool can be used to aid in research and management decisions.

Final project report: Landscape Futures Analysis. Adapted future landscapes – from aspiration to implementation. Final Report 2013. 72 pages. (Link 40.)

  • This project worked with the Eyre Peninsula and South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions to develop a process of science based “optioneering” that explored future land use options that could be embedded in NRM Board planning and community engagement. The analysis finds that it will be possible to adapt to a changing climate if changes in land use are made. It also highlights that policy incentives are likely to be needed to guide and encourage changed practice.

Land use evolution. 1:41. (Link 41.)

  • This video uses a genetic evolution process across three NRM regions (SA Murray Darling Basin, Victorian Mallee and Victorian Wimmera). The process involves optimizing the position in the landscape when combining seven indicators, food, carbon, energy, water, biodiversity, economics and land. The simulation illustrates that it is possible to achieve optimization, but this requires significant changes in the distribution of current land use.

Published paper: One Way Forward to Beat the Newtonian Habit with a Complexity Perspective on Organisational Change. 19 pages. 2013 (Link 42.)

  • We face a global crisis of un-sustainability—we need to change trajectory but have so far displayed a collective inability to do so. This article suggests that one reason for this is our entrenched approach to change, which has inappropriately applied mechanistic Newtonian assumptions to ―”living”systems. Applying what has been learned about the behaviour of complex adaptive systems, we develop a pragmatic model for students of sustainability, who want to facilitate profound organizational and community change towards sustainability on the ground.

Published paper: Regional engagement and spatial modelling for natural resource management planning. 17pages. 2015 (Link 43.)

  • Changing unsustainable natural resource use in agricultural landscapes is a complex social–ecological challenge that cannot be addressed through traditional reductionist science. More holistic and inclusive (or transdisciplinary) processes are needed. This paper describes a transdisciplinary project for natural resource management planning in two regions (Eyre Peninsula and South Australian Murray-Darling Basin) of southern Australia. While there was anecdotal evidence that the project provided learning opportunities and increased understanding of potential land use change associated with management options under global change, the direct evidence of influence in the updated regional plan was limited.

Published paper: Why do NRM regional planning processes and tools have limited effect? Presenting the perspective of the end user. 2017. (Link 44.)

  • Natural resource managers are required to prepare a plan for managing the natural resources in their regions. Environmental decision support systems (EDSS) have been developed to assist managers and stakeholders make decisions about complex natural resource problems. Research has shown that these EDSS are valuable and used internationally. However, sustainability science literature reports that too often these natural resource management (NRM) plans are not consulted upon completion, and the EDSS are no longer used.

Published paper: Stakeholder engagement with environmental decision support systems: The perspective of end users. 2019. (Link 45.)

Environmental decision support systems (EDSS) assist natural resource managers to assess problems and select options for change.

  • EDSS are proven useful, yet are often not used after the research and development phase.
  • The end users of EDSS suggest that ongoing engagement and communication with them beyond the pilot project stage would support ongoing use of the tool.