People, food and water – can resilience thinking help? Case studies from the Murray Darling Basin, Australia Paul Ryan Bri...
Outline <ul><li>Overview of approach to assessing resilience </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons lear...
The take home message <ul><li>Resilience thinking is useful for thinking about the future of river basins/catchments becau...
 
Our work <ul><li>Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Learning by doing (with many mistakes!) </li></ul><ul...
 
Assessing resilience <ul><li>Work through 3 main steps; </li></ul><ul><li>Describing the system  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Str...
The Murray Darling Basin <ul><li>Australia’s food bowl </li></ul><ul><li>2 million people </li></ul>
 
Challenges <ul><li>Degradation issues –, water quality and quantity, salinity, biodiversity loss, soil health </li></ul><u...
 
Challenges <ul><li>Degradation issues – salinity, water quality and quantity, biodiversity loss, soil health </li></ul><ul...
Case study 1. Goulburn Broken Catchment <ul><li>2.8 million ha </li></ul><ul><li>200,000 people </li></ul><ul><li>Signific...
 
 
Approach to understanding resilience <ul><li>Motivation - research </li></ul><ul><li>High capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Close...
Learning and outcomes <ul><li>Scientific publications </li></ul>
farm/landscape landscape/catchment (GB region) state/nation Shocks biophysical economic social values (e.g. environment vs...
Learning and outcomes <ul><li>Confirmed and challenged thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Some  gradual adoption of resilience ide...
Case study 2. Resilience and Catchment Action Plans <ul><li>2 catchments in NSW </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation (cotton), dry...
Approach to understanding resilience <ul><li>Motivation - policy drivers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National </li></ul></ul><ul...
Approach to understanding resilience <ul><li>Policy requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Embed resilience assessment in strategi...
 
Process in practice <ul><li>Resilience assessment workshops to engage agency and community </li></ul>
Process in practice <ul><li>Resilience assessment workshops to engage agency and community </li></ul><ul><li>Backed by min...
<ul><li>Developed conceptual models to; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build shared knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify d...
 
 
 
Learning and outputs <ul><li>Catchment Action Plan’s based on resilience thinking (a first for Australia!) </li></ul><ul><...
Learning and outputs <ul><li>Failed to develop a more complete systems understanding (time, capacity) </li></ul><ul><li>In...
Case study 3. Wakool - Resilience, Adaptation and  Transformation <ul><li>Motivation – community driven interest in delibe...
Approach to assessing resilience <ul><li>Resilience assessment supporting social learning process </li></ul><ul><li>Commun...
<ul><li>Expanding stakeholder engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing spiral of engage, analyse, reflect, learn </li></ul>...
Learning and outputs (to date) <ul><li>‘living’ resilience assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Community Strategic Plan being dev...
What have we learnt from these case studies <ul><li>About the value of resilience concepts: </li></ul><ul><li>System ‘awar...
<ul><li>About the assessment process </li></ul><ul><li>Creates shared knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>- integrates many types ...
<ul><li>As conceptual (descriptive) or quantitative as capacity, resources and information allows </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’...
BUT….. <ul><li>It takes time, it’s not easy </li></ul><ul><li>Requires on going effort </li></ul><ul><li>Turning learnings...
So…… <ul><li>You need champions </li></ul><ul><li>You need a vehicle (a plan, policy, threat ) </li></ul><ul><li>You need ...
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People, Water and Food: Can resilience thinking help

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Resilience Analysis of the Goulburn-Broken basin, Australia, at the CPWF Resilience TWG inception workshop, Tempe 11 March 2011

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People, Water and Food: Can resilience thinking help

  1. 1. People, food and water – can resilience thinking help? Case studies from the Murray Darling Basin, Australia Paul Ryan Brian Walker (and many others)
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Overview of approach to assessing resilience </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons learned </li></ul>
  3. 3. The take home message <ul><li>Resilience thinking is useful for thinking about the future of river basins/catchments because; </li></ul><ul><li>complex systems of people and ecosystems </li></ul><ul><li>these systems have limits </li></ul><ul><li>resilience thinking helps identify those limits and work out how to stay within them (or move to a pathway within limits) </li></ul><ul><li>ultimately helps to reduce complexity </li></ul><ul><li>to focus on the underlying (usually slow changing) problems not on the fast </li></ul>
  4. 5. Our work <ul><li>Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Learning by doing (with many mistakes!) </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Production – mixed dry land/irrigated systems </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Production – dry land systems </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural systems – pastoral, tourism, coastal and marine </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>Learn Expert driven Community driven Partnerships
  5. 7. Assessing resilience <ul><li>Work through 3 main steps; </li></ul><ul><li>Describing the system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure – scales, boundaries, important bits, governance/institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Values/importance - goods and services, threats and shocks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Historical profile – events and responses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>System dynamics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specified resilience - resilience of specific parts, thresholds, feedbacks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General resilience – system coping capacity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adaptive cycles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Options for intervention </li></ul>
  6. 8. The Murray Darling Basin <ul><li>Australia’s food bowl </li></ul><ul><li>2 million people </li></ul>
  7. 10. Challenges <ul><li>Degradation issues –, water quality and quantity, salinity, biodiversity loss, soil health </li></ul><ul><li>Social issues – declining terms of trade in ag, town/community viability </li></ul>
  8. 12. Challenges <ul><li>Degradation issues – salinity, water quality and quantity, biodiversity loss, soil health </li></ul><ul><li>Social issues – declining terms of trade in ag, town/community viability </li></ul><ul><li>$Billions spent = ? </li></ul><ul><li>Crosses 5 States - institutional/policy reform </li></ul><ul><li>Changing social values </li></ul>
  9. 13. Case study 1. Goulburn Broken Catchment <ul><li>2.8 million ha </li></ul><ul><li>200,000 people </li></ul><ul><li>Significant contribution to flow of MDB </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation plains, dryland plains and foothills, forested public land highlands </li></ul><ul><li>Ramsar Wetland </li></ul><ul><li>High value production </li></ul>
  10. 16. Approach to understanding resilience <ul><li>Motivation - research </li></ul><ul><li>High capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Close engagement with managers, community leaders and some experts </li></ul><ul><li>Significant knowledge base </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed analysis and modelling </li></ul>
  11. 17. Learning and outcomes <ul><li>Scientific publications </li></ul>
  12. 18. farm/landscape landscape/catchment (GB region) state/nation Shocks biophysical economic social values (e.g. environment vs. agriculture) – water allocations (10) farm financial viability (7) size of dairy & fruit processing sectors (9) water table depth and area salinised (2) water infrastructure state (8) riverine ecosystem condition (5) native vegetation cover and biodiversity (4) tree cover and water table equilibrium (E/T) (1) climate shocks price shocks changes in markets diseases Soil acidity (3) river condition (6) 10 thresholds in the Goulburn-Broken catchment
  13. 19. Learning and outcomes <ul><li>Confirmed and challenged thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Some gradual adoption of resilience ideas into subsequent planning and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Chris and Vanessa here! </li></ul>
  14. 20. Case study 2. Resilience and Catchment Action Plans <ul><li>2 catchments in NSW </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation (cotton), dryland cropping/grazing rangelands </li></ul><ul><li>Ramsar Wetlands </li></ul>
  15. 21. Approach to understanding resilience <ul><li>Motivation - policy drivers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State </li></ul></ul>“ to achieve an environment that is healthier, better protected, well managed, resilient and provides essential ecosystem services in a changing climate” “ healthy, productive and resilient landscapes”
  16. 22. Approach to understanding resilience <ul><li>Policy requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Embed resilience assessment in strategic planning process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>must have whole of government support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>must engage the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>must be based on best available science </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>limited capacity, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>limited government support (in fact some parts hostile!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>short time frames </li></ul></ul>
  17. 24. Process in practice <ul><li>Resilience assessment workshops to engage agency and community </li></ul>
  18. 25. Process in practice <ul><li>Resilience assessment workshops to engage agency and community </li></ul><ul><li>Backed by minimal new analysis – mainly existing material </li></ul><ul><li>Mainly community, agency staff and some experts </li></ul>
  19. 26. <ul><li>Developed conceptual models to; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build shared knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify desired states (good vs bad condition) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify key controlling variables, thresholds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify points for intervention and specific management actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li><S&T> </li></ul></ul>
  20. 30. Learning and outputs <ul><li>Catchment Action Plan’s based on resilience thinking (a first for Australia!) </li></ul><ul><li>Major evidence base about system (structure, process, linkages) </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific, management and socially defined thresholds </li></ul><ul><li>New skills and capacity </li></ul>
  21. 31. Learning and outputs <ul><li>Failed to develop a more complete systems understanding (time, capacity) </li></ul><ul><li>Increased research interest in systems, thresholds etc </li></ul><ul><li>Some organisational ‘cultural’ change – long way to go! </li></ul>
  22. 32. Case study 3. Wakool - Resilience, Adaptation and Transformation <ul><li>Motivation – community driven interest in deliberate change </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation dependent – rice, milk </li></ul><ul><li>Drought, policy change, declining communities </li></ul>
  23. 33. Approach to assessing resilience <ul><li>Resilience assessment supporting social learning process </li></ul><ul><li>Community driven, agency and expert support </li></ul><ul><li>Learning by doing </li></ul>
  24. 34. <ul><li>Expanding stakeholder engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing spiral of engage, analyse, reflect, learn </li></ul><ul><li>Aiming to spark and nurture innovations that transform the system from the bottom up. </li></ul>
  25. 35. Learning and outputs (to date) <ul><li>‘living’ resilience assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Community Strategic Plan being developed </li></ul>
  26. 36. What have we learnt from these case studies <ul><li>About the value of resilience concepts: </li></ul><ul><li>System ‘awareness’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Defines the limits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifies key structures and processes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Builds management knowledge and skills; </li></ul><ul><li>Key points for intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Identifies underlying (often slow) causes of undesirable change rather than the symptoms (usually fast) </li></ul>
  27. 37. <ul><li>About the assessment process </li></ul><ul><li>Creates shared knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>- integrates many types of knowledge (traditional, local, expert, agency) </li></ul><ul><li>Shared knowledge about problems and solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Overlapping knowledge across scales </li></ul>
  28. 38. <ul><li>As conceptual (descriptive) or quantitative as capacity, resources and information allows </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t really matter where you start but it helps to have a clear purpose/end point in mind </li></ul>
  29. 39. BUT….. <ul><li>It takes time, it’s not easy </li></ul><ul><li>Requires on going effort </li></ul><ul><li>Turning learnings into on ground change </li></ul><ul><li>Small steps, project – program </li></ul><ul><li>Requires cultural change in management agencies (5 yrs? 10yrs? 100…..) </li></ul>
  30. 40. So…… <ul><li>You need champions </li></ul><ul><li>You need a vehicle (a plan, policy, threat ) </li></ul><ul><li>You need coordination support – manage information </li></ul><ul><li>You need multiple knowledge's </li></ul><ul><li>You need some expert guidance at critical points </li></ul><ul><li>You need to set expectation – there is no silver bullet </li></ul><ul><li>You need lots of patience </li></ul>

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