An assessment of the vulnerability of Australian forests to the impacts of climate change: Establishing the need and consultation with key stakeholders in forest policy and management under climate change. Contribution of Work Package 1 to the Forest Vulnerability Assessment
Authors: Kathleen Wood, Anne Roiko, Peter Waterman, Helen Wallace and Richard Warrick
The first half of this report provides stakeholder insights into climate change adaptation and forest vulnerability. Participants expressed vulnerability in terms of a range of biophysical, socio-economic and governance issues at all scales and across all forest types. Responses indicated that while climate change adaptation is being considered both in terms of planning and management, implementation is inconsistent. Progress towards climate change adaptation can be enhanced through measures including: (1) Increased research effort for forest and climate science, (2) investment in response to existing issues to improve resilience, (3) land-use management systems that recognise ecosystem services of forests, and (4) legislative clarity at all governance levels to provide stability for efficient investment of effort. The second half of the report presents climate change scenario models for Australian forest systems in the years 2030 and 2070 (using SimCLIM), focusing on the variables of precipitation and temperature. The likely biophysical and socio-economic impacts of these climate change scenarios on forest systems are also described in this report. This is the first report in a series generated by NCCARF as part of a comprehensive Forest Vulnerability Assessment (FVA) that will assist forest managers and policy makers on managing climate change adaptation in the forestry sector.