More than 40 natural resource managers, Traditional Owners and industry leaders joined with the Wet Tropics Management Authority in early July to discuss climate change and its impact on the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
The Authority’s Climate Change Adaptation Workshop was a first step towards the development of a climate change adaptation plan, part of a ten-year plan for the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
Attendees discussed the many factors that make the Wet Tropics a special place—including biodiversity, scenic beauty and socioeconomic benefits—and the importance of managing and mitigating the impacts of climate change.
Attendees shared their experiences in dealing with the impacts of climate change and discussed approaches in other regions, proposing a series of goals and principles that will form the basis of the strategy. The consensus from the group was that an adaptation plan will require a collaborative approach.
Wet Tropics Management Authority executive director Scott Buchanan said the workshop attendees also resolved that immediate action on climate change was necessary.
“Through the workshop—and having reviewed the literature in this area—the group agreed that we in the Wet Tropics community should act now on climate change,” he said.
“A lot of information on climate change is available to us, both via traditional knowledge and western science, but this all needs to be better coordinated to inform decision making on climate change adaptation.”
“Above all, we now know enough to act, and we agreed that an adaptive planning approach will allow action while ensuring adjustments in accordance with monitoring results and new science.
“Thank you to all attendees for contributing your time and expertise to this important issue.”
The Wet Tropics Management Authority will continue its consultation and collaboration with industry and community throughout the development of the climate change adaptation plan.
Pictured (inset): Tim Wong (Planning and Conservation Manager, Wet Tropics Management Authority) leads a workshop discussion.