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Climate change is already having significant impacts on our natural environment, putting our unique and valuable natural assets at risk and impacting on our native plants and animals

Biodiversity Strategy

Climate change is already having significant impacts on our natural environment, putting our unique and valuable natural assets at risk and impacting on our native plants and animals.

The Victorian Government is delivering on its election commitment to develop a new biodiversity strategy; Protecting Victoria's Environment – Biodiversity 2036.

Our natural environment makes Victoria a special place. However, Victoria's environment doesn't thrive on its own. We need a plan to stop the decline of our native plants and animals, and improve our natural environment so it is healthy, valued and actively cared for.

Protecting Victoria's Environment – Biodiversity 2036 is a long term plan to achieve this.

More information on biodiversity can be found here

Forests

Taking advantage of economic incentives for carbon capture and storage on public and private land not only reduces greenhouse emissions, but supports new jobs, diversifies income sources and boosts economic activity in regional areas.

Such initiatives could deliver co-benefits such as productive soils, vibrant biodiversity and landscapes better able to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

For more information click here

Coasts

Our Coast

The Our Coast project uses the latest data on projected sea level rises and storm surges to help coastal communities and government agencies plan and respond to the impact of climate change.

By using the latest mapping technology the project has identified that the extent of inundation risk is less than previously modelled.

These assessments combine previous climate change coastal hazards research with detailed modelling and projected sea level rise data. It predicts sea level rises of 0.2m by 2040, 0.5m by 2070 and 0.8m by 2100.

State government agencies and local councils will use the information to influence future planning decisions, emergency management frameworks, local infrastructure maintenance and climate adaptation planning.

For more information click here

Victorian Coastal Council

The Victorian Coastal Council is responsible for statewide strategic coastal planning

Victorian Coastal Inundation Dataset

The Victorian Coastal Inundation Dataset shows the potential risks from sea level rise and storm surge. It does this for four different time periods (2009, 2040, 2070 and 2100) and can be viewed as an interactive map on Mapshare

Victorian Coastal Hazard Guide

The Victorian Coastal Hazard Guide is intended to improve understanding of coastal hazards such as inundation and erosion and the effects of climate change. It also supports organisations that are responsible for making decisions about managing coastal land and assets to manage the risks posed by coastal hazards.

It does this by providing a risk-based approach for incorporating coastal hazards and climate change into the decision making processes associated with managing coastal areas; and promoting the use of management and response options to improve adaptive capacity.

Coastal Protection Structures 

Coastal Protection Structures dataset is also available that provides a statewide overview of existing coastal protection structures, such as seawalls, groynes, revetments, etc.

More information around coasts is available here

Victoria's land area supports a wide range of ecosystems: alpine, mallee, grasslands and grassy woodlands, forests, heathlands  and heathy woodlands, inland waters and estuaries, as well as coasts.

Victoria has already become warmer and drier – a climate trend predicted to continue into the future. The impacts of climate change will vary across the state and each local community will have its own unique experiences and reactions to these changes.

Local government is responsible for policy development and implementation of land use planning as well as regulating a wide range of activities that may impact on the natural environment. These activities include:

  • providing infrastructure for amenities, recreation, access and development (e.g. roads and jetties)
  • coastal management and erosion control
  • providing and maintaining stormwater and sewerage infrastructure
  • waste and litter management
  • management of roadside weeds, feral animals and other pests
  • managing natural resource assets for tourism-based activities, such as parks and walking or cycling tracks
  •  community education and capacity building

The impacts of climate change presents challenges to the natural environment. For example, increased heatwaves, harsher fire weather and flooding risk may damage popular environmental sites. This may have knock-on effects and threaten tourism infrastructure and visitor numbers.  

Councils who understand these impacts and the connections with their forward decision making will be better prepared to manage the risks to their communities, assets, infrastructure and the natural environment, as well as identify opportunities for the local area.

For more insights into the impacts of climate change on the environment, and responses, see the Climate-Ready brochures under the Being climate ready tab here

To view state government funded climate change projects delivered in partnership with local councils, click here