Time to help nature through its biggest challenge
Our great national parks are precious beyond words, but with climate change upon us, they are already showing changes.
More frequent bushfires put the survival of our great Alpine and Mountain Ash forests in jeopardy. Increasing temperatures, more frequent droughts and floods, and rising sea waters will affect our native plants and animals in many different ways. Some will do well, but others will struggle.
For this reason the Victorian National Parks Association teamed up with Melbourne University's Bio21 Institute and the Royal Society of Victoria to assemble some of the best scientific minds, and most experienced land managers, to see what could be done to support our surviving natural areas.
A lively symposium 'Managing Biodiversity in Victoria under Climate Change' attracted over 200 people, and the recommendations from those presentations and discussions have been compiled by ecologist Dr Ian Lunt.
They now appear as the "10 things we can all do to help nature adapt to a new climate" on a new website: VicNature2050.org.
The recommendations include increasing funding and resources for our national parks. They also include radical suggestions, such as introducing new 'climate-ready' species in rehabilitated areas, and increasing the genetic diversity of plantings.
The improved health of riverside vegetation will also be crucial. Importantly, to echo the words of one of the VNPA's founders half a century ago, this is not just a job for our land managers, 'it's a job for anyone who has ever sat under a tree'.
We strongly recommend you have a good look at the VicNature2050 website and register for email updates to ensure you hear about upcoming events. Please also share news about this site with friends, family and colleagues.