Planning for Climate Change in North East Victoria
The North East Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS) is the primary integrated planning framework for land, water and biodiversity management in North East Victoria. The RCS identifies climate change as one of the key stressors for natural resource management in our region. In response to this the North East Catchment Management Authority coordinated the the North East Climate Ready NRM Strategy on behalf of our catchment community.
The Strategy is designed as a practical tool for people who work directly in natural resource management (NRM) in North East Victoria and a useful resource for the broader community.
Download a copy of the strategy here:
- North East NRM Climate Ready Strategy 8.6MB pdf
What are the Implications of Climate Change for North East Victoria?
Climate change can have a significant impact on soils and the functions that soil performs. In agriculture, climate change may affect crop production as changes in soil, air temperature and rainfall affect the ability of crops to reach maturity and their potential harvest. Climate influences can affect both pasture and cropping land uses. The predicted outcomes of decreased winter and spring rainfall and higher temperatures are a shorter growing season and reduced plant cover over summer.
It is estimated that climate change impacts will lead to a decline in annual average and winter rainfall reducing average stream-flow in the North East catchment by as much as 25% to 45% by 2050 and inflows to the Murray basin by up to 40% by 2070. A drying climate will place increased pressure on waterways, floodplains and wetlands already under stress. While the majority of impacts on agricultural production in North East Victoria are negative, climate change is likely to reduce the threat of salinity and soil acidification in North East Victoria due to declining aquifer recharge and subsequent lowering of the water table and associated dryland salinity. While the long term climate trend in the region is for reduced average rainfall, there may be more intense rainfall events leading to an increase in the frequency and severity of floods.
Although the landscape and vegetation communities are relatively diverse and therefore more inherently resilient to climate change, the risk to biodiversity in the North East region is not uniform, and many species and communities are particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures and changes to fire regimes. Possible impacts from climate change include changes in the dominant species and structure of existing vegetation types, decline or loss of local populations of species, and species extinctions.
The cooler climate of the Victorian Alps has been identified as a key climate refuge for the Australian continent. Climate refuges provide cooler, moister or more stable conditions to which species can retreat during extreme events such as droughts, heatwaves or fires and are critical to the survival of species and regional biodiversity.
Technical reports and supporting documents can be downloaded here:
- Carbon farming - legislation and policy implications (Final Report) 1.5MB pdf
- Spatial assessment tool (Final Report) 11MB pdf
- Vulnerability assessment, Carbon Farming assessment and products summary 7MB pdf
- Strategy Review discussion paper 2.5MB pdf
For more information, please contact:
Lachlan Campbell (Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator)
Phone: 0400 852 482