The Southern Slopes Cluster (SSC) covers an area of almost 225,000 km2 across Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales. It comprises the nine natural resource management regions of south-eastern Australia that share a cool maritime climate. These are:
The SSC lies within the ‘mid-latitudes’ of the global climate system and experiences a range of climate influences and drivers. In combination with the diverse land forms, these climate drivers result in a many different bioclimatic zones. The Cluster includes many of the coolest, high-altitude regions of Australia as well as the extensive basalt plains of western Victoria and lowland coastal regions. In summary:
1. Annual mean temperatures range from 8°C -14°C.
2. Annual mean precipitation ranges from around 400 – 3700mm.
3. Vegetation types, hydrology regimes and land-uses vary greatly across the SSC.
The NRM organisations across the Cluster are working closely with
researchers to identify likely climate change impacts and options for
adaptation across each NRM/CMA region. A pathways approach to climate
change adaptation is being developed to help ensure that the adaptation
strategies that are incorporated into NRM planning are robust across a
range of futures whilst being flexible enough to be adjusted if needed.
An adaptation pathways approach accommodates an uncertain future and recognises that there is rarely (if ever) a singular, optimal solution, especially in NRM where trade-offs between public and private benefits and short-term and long-term outcomes are commonplace.
Since the commencement of the SSC partnership project in early 2013, representatives from all Stream 1 SSC NRM organisations and Stream 2 researchers have met regularly, both formally and informally, to identify and prioritise what climate change impacts and adaptation information is required for NRM planning and its implementation. An iterative approach to developing useful information and building the capacity to apply it well has been targeted to develop robust plans and processes for climate change adaptation and mitigation. The intended outcome is a legacy of information and approaches for future NRM planning, strategy development and implementation.
To date, this process has involved;