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About the Marine Adaptation Network

imageThe Marine Adaptation Network aims to implement a strong interdisciplinary organisational framework to engage researchers, governments and industry in a way that will enhance adaptive capacity and reduce vulnerability of Australia’s marine biodiversity and resources to climate change risks.

The Adaptation Research Network for Marine Biodiversity and Resources (or simply, the Marine Adaptation Network) is hosted within the Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania and is led by Associate Professor Neil Holbrook (Convenor).

From 2009 to mid-2013, the Marine Adaptation Network is working closely with the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) to deliver on its vision to build adaptive capacity and adaptive response strategies for the effective management of marine biodiversity and living marine resources under climate change.

The Marine Adaptation Network comprises a holistic framework of five connecting marine themes (integration; biodiversity and resources; communities; markets; and policy) that cross-cuts climate change risk, marine biodiversity and resources, socio-economics, policy and governance, and includes ecosystems and species from the tropics to Australian Antarctic waters.

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Climate Change Adaptation

imageGiven the recent predictions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicating that global warming will affect the planet over at least the next couple of centuries, it is clear that new paradigms, policies, and governance systems will be essential for Australia in order to sustain the capacity of its marine ecosystems and for securing future economic and societal development. Unfortunately, the degree of resilience and adaptive capacity of many marine species to climate change risks and potential impacts, for example corals and coral reefs, are still poorly known.

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An Integrative Network

The Marine Adaptation Network consists of five inter-connecting themes:

Biodiversity & Resources

The Marine Adaptation Network will improve understanding of, and enhance, adaptive capacity of all sectors within the marine space using an integrative model (Figure 1) of collaboration, engagement and cooperation that cross-cuts between biodiversity & resources, communities, markets and policy (including management and governance).

Figure 1: Integrative model of the Marine Adaptation Network

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Participatory Principles

imageThis network is committed to building capacity as well as action and education for sustainable climate change adaptation through research and collaboration. Engagement with a range of stakeholders is necessary to achieve successful adaptation responses. Read more for a full outline of the principles used by the Network.

Participatory research principles to enhance climate adaptation research

This network is committed to building capacity as well as action and education for sustainable climate change adaptation through research and collaboration. As such, effective engagement of a range of stakeholders is necessary to achieve successful adaptation responses. Involving these stakeholders in the research process per se will contribute towards building capacity and responsiveness in this context, particularly for practitioners on the front line of implementation. The following principles (expanded and adapted from the Citizen Science Toolbox, re-named to the URP Toolbox) establish an operating framework aimed at supporting transparent, accessible and participatory research in the climate change adaptation space.

They include:

• Research begins with stakeholders’ needs
• Include all stakeholders
• Respect all participants
• Work within existing cultural protocols
• Stakeholders are co-researchers (involve and train)
• Researchers are stakeholders
• Maximise access to information
• Maximise opportunities for participation
• Encourage multi-party communication
• Develop visions and objectives together (develop research questions together)
• Allow situations to develop organically
• Provide access to a wide range of knowledge, and decision-making tools
• Build mutual trust
• Share information and networks
• Share responsibility
• Create transparent decision making processes
• Aim for consensus and mutual ownership
• Promote cooperative rather than competitive structures
• Be proactive about learning from the process
• Ensure community benefits from the process
• Build mutual understanding and reach consensus on intellectual property
• Build mutual understanding and reach consensus on distribution of benefits
• Monitor and evaluate the collaboration
• Provide feedback on the process
• Disseminate the results
• Apply the results
• Build on the achievements
• Be explicit about exit strategies

The network will be documenting case studies of the application of these principles over the next two years.

A copy of these principles can be accessed HERE.

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Network Funding Body

Funding body



University of Tasmania
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies

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