Adaptation Guiding Principles

Ensuring an appropriate response to a changing climate may mean there is a cultural shift in how management is viewed, and how current management practices are carried out. Indeed, climate change adaption needs to be considered in every management decision.

One way of achieving this is to promote the use of ‘adaptation guiding principles’. Adaptation guiding principles ensure climate change is incorporated into the thinking of all management decisions. Adaptation principles also help ensure adverse or perverse actions do not cause an increase in and/or hasten the impacts of climate change on the what is being targeted to be managed (or others).

Below is an overview of adaptation principles as well as the core actions and strategies that can be adopted to ensure the principles are adhered to. They are based on both stakeholder consultation, as well as from learnings from other regions, from Australia and an international perspective, that have set similar climate ready objectives.


Adaptation guiding principle  Why is this a guiding principle?

Planning and management decisions need to be flexible, adaptive and acknowledge multiple possible futures.

Climate change adaptation is continually being updated. Ways to plan that are consistent to a range of futures and desired outcomes are needed to ensure management actions are the most appropriate and that these consider regional knowledge, responses, as well as longer-term planning cycles. Adaptation pathways (link) can enable the uncertainty and challenges of climate change mitigation to be considered.

Identify and prepare for likely climatic changes

As actions and information change over time, there is a need to allow for future decision-making. Identifying appropriate triggers, setting appropriate monitoring, and pre-planning are all critical to achieve this. Adaptation pathways (link) enable the uncertainty and challenges of climate change to be considered and can also be used as a stakeholder engagement tool.

Manage natural assets for transformation and/or resilience

Many of the region’s natural assets will need to adapt to a changing climate. Ensuring these natural assets are managed so they can be resilient to climate change helps achieve this. This usually requires the management of threatening processes to protect priority assets, for example, native vegetation and new and emerging environmental weeds.

The adaptive capacity of land managers, community groups and organisations is improved through regional leadership as well as encouraging local solutions to be developed that address regional issues.


Sharing new and innovative adaptation management information and encouraging  regional and landscape scale actions to be developed together, will improve the awareness and capacity of land managers and community groups to manage under a changing climate.