Our Plan for Climate

Climate Futures Goal


National Landcare Program Phase 2
Regional Land Partnerships

NLP Australian Government




At a national level, the Australian Government’s Regional Land Partnerships program provides important strategic direction and supports vital on-ground environment and agricultural projects across the country. Click on the link to find out more about the program, its priorities and outcomes.

We know that even with drastic reductions now in greenhouse gas emissions, we are still likely to experience changes to our climatic conditions and patterns in the Wet Tropics over coming decades.  These changes will impact on our communities, industries and natural systems, and we need to start planning and implementing adaptation strategies now so the people, plants, animals and ecosystems of our region will have the resilience to continue to thrive.

There is a lot of good scientific information available on climate change and adaptation strategies for the Wet Tropics region and we need to ensure this is easily accessible and incorporated into all aspects of NRM planning and action.

Our Plan for Climate is based on extensive engagement about:

  • The challenges preventing us from achieving our Climate Futures Goal
  • The opportunities that may assist us in achieving our Climate Futures Goal
  • The priority actions that we should put in place to address the challenges and also make the most of the opportunities

Our Priorities

1. We will influence policy and planning frameworks to ensure climate change impacts and adaptation strategies are incorporated into all levels of natural resource management. 

Challenges: Climate change can seem like a global problem and it may be difficult to see how local actions can make a significant difference at a policy level.

Opportunities: Our region is home to iconic World Heritage Areas – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforests.  These internationally recognised places, and the strong tourism industries they support, can provide leverage and support for ensuring we have strong climate change policies and plans, which will provide the best long-term protection of these unique ecosystems.  There is good science already available to help guide decisions about policies which will future-proof our region.

Priority actions focus on ensuring that a compelling, consistent story, which is based on good climate science, is being told at the political level.  Working collaboratively across the region and ensuring broad consensus on appropriate policies and plans required for positive natural resource management outcomes will provide the best result for a range of sectors and stakeholders.

2.  We will work collaboratively with all stakeholders, including scientists and the community, to ensure we are accessing and using the best available information on climate change impacts and adaptation strategies, to guide active management of our natural and cultural resources and provide the best protection of important areas now and into the future.

Challenges: With some level of uncertainty over the exact impacts of climate change in our region, it can sometimes seem easier to continue our natural resource management planning and activities in a ‘business as usual’ manner.  We need to start planning and implementing climate change adaptation strategies now, to ensure we have the resilience to thrive given likely future changes.

Opportunities:  We have access to very good scientific data about the potential impacts of climate change on our region, as well as a range of effective adaptation strategies to support our communities, industries and natural systems.  We can use this information to guide decisions and actions in all levels of natural resource management.

Priority actions focus on ensuring the health and resilience of our plants, animals, ecosystems and industries, through healthy landscape and altitudinal connections for biodiversity, identification and management of emerging weed threats and supporting access to good information and practices by farmers to plan for their future.

3. We will respect the ongoing connection of Aboriginal people to country and work collaboratively to share traditional and scientific knowledge, which can guide planning and projects to support the ongoing health of traditional lands and communities in a changing climate.

Challenges:  While Traditional Owners have significant knowledge of the landscapes and country they have lived on for thousands of decades, the impacts of climate change bring a new element to ongoing management of these areas.

Opportunities: Partnerships between the scientific community and Traditional Owners are essential to improve understanding and incorporation of climate change impacts and adaptation strategies into broader natural and cultural resource management.  There is a strong desire to maintain and improve the health of traditional lands and waters and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change, providing the impetus to share knowledge between stakeholders.

Priority actions focus on ensuring the long term health and resilience of the plants, animals, ecosystems and communities of the Wet Tropics region, including areas of significance to Traditional Owners.

4. We will secure long-term, consistent, cross-sector and diverse resourcing to ensure access to good scientific climate change information and incorporation into all levels of natural resource management planning and action.

Challenges: Short term funding and political cycles can make it difficult to focus on the long term strategies needed to cope with the potential impacts of climate change.  Resources – both financial and human – are already stretched thinly to achieve environmental and social outcomes.  Including the additional obligation to now plan and incorporate climate change adaptation strategies into projects stretches those limited resources even further.

Opportunities: We have access to good climate change information for our region and there are many effective partnerships already operating.  We can tell a compelling and consistent story to leverage resourcing to support the long term protection of our iconic landscapes and communities.  Our region supports strong and diverse industries, including tourism and agriculture, which are based on healthy natural resources.  There is potential to access a broader resource base than the traditional funding sources to ensure the ongoing health of our natural resources in a changing climate.

Priority actions focus on taking steps now to incorporate climate change adaptation strategies into natural resource management to ensure the ongoing health of our landscapes, plants and animals, as well as the industries which rely on healthy natural resources.

5. We will ensure our community places high value on the health and resilience of our natural systems and is actively involved in its long term protection and management, particularly through the increased incorporation of climate change adaptation strategies into natural resource management.

Challenges: In the face of the urgent pressures facing our natural resources NOW, it can be difficult to find the energy and resources to deal with climate change impacts, which are still sometimes seen as something which can be dealt with at a later time.

Opportunities:  Most people recognise and value the unique landscapes of our region and want future generations to be able to enjoy and experience iconic places, like the reef and rainforest, in a healthy condition.  The longer term impacts of climate change are broadly accepted and most people want to see action to minimise these impacts locally and globally.

Priority actions focus on good sharing of knowledge and effective communication to raise awareness of the importance of addressing climate change adaptation strategies now to ensure our special places have the resilience to survive and thrive in a changing climate.