To enhance the adaptive capacity of Australia’s marine biodiversity and resources to climate change risks through the development of flexible climate change adaptation policy, management and governance strategies.Adaptation to projected and unexpected changes in marine systems requires science, policy and practice to be well understood and connected. Connecting these domains means much more than ensuring policy-makers and practitioners have access to scientific information about potential direct and indirect impacts of climate change. It implies that the lines of communication between policy, practice and science are open, respectful and inclusive. These qualities form the foundations of the methodology currently being developed within the Policy Theme, to contribute to adaptation.
As with other themes of the Adaptation Network for Marine Biodiversity and Resources, the Policy Theme is oriented to outcomes and action. We are undertaking sectoral case studies in collaboration with industry members, policy analysts, biophysical and social scientists. The first stage of this process involves ‘mapping’ the contemporary science-policy environment of a particular case study sector across relevant jurisdictions. This policy analysis will allow us to engage with the industry about the state of play for a case study sector with respect to, for instance, how the regulatory and management environment constrains and/or enables adaptation among industry and policy practitioners. The second stage of the process will involve stakeholder surveys in parallel with workshops. These processes are targeted towards developing a better understanding of critical knowledge and policy gaps and opportunities, as well as vulnerabilities, sources of resilience and adaptive capacity within the sector at different geographical locations and scales. Finally, drawing the earlier strands together, the Policy Theme will be able to furnish our collaborators—policy-makers and practitioners, scientists and industry members – with workable approaches to adaptation, relevant research questions and potentially useful information to feed into the policy process at different jurisdictional scales.
The planned case studies are as follows:
• The edible oyster industry (pilot study: 2009-2011)
• Regional Marine Protected Areas (2010-2012)
• The Commonwealth Trawl Fishery (2011-2012)
The pilot research with the oyster industry will allow our team to hone this novel collaborative methodology to ensure it is efficient, rigorous and appropriately inclusive. This case is now developing rapidly. Watch this space for more information.
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