Southern Slopes Climate Change Adaptation Research Partnership

The Southern Slopes Climate Change Adaptation Research Partnership (SCARP) funded under the Federal Government's Climate Impacts and Adaptation Research Program, through the Department of Environment, commenced in March 2013 to advance planning for climate change across Australia's 56 Natural Resource Management  (NRM) regions. 

SCARP is led by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) at the University of Tasmania, in conjunction with Monash University, RMIT and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources in collaboration with our NRM partner agencies. 

SCARP has identified the sorts of processes and information that will best support the development of climate change impact and adaptation plans in the Southern Slopes Cluster region and helps build the capacity to make best use of climate change adaptation research.

As indicated in the map below, the Southern Slopes Cluster region, consists of the 5 coastal Victorian Catchment Management Authorities (CMA's), the 3 Tasmanian NRM regions and the Southern East Local Land Services (NSW).

Our work has focused on four interrelated sub-projects designed to advance adaptation planning, spatial prioritisation, synthesis of climate impacts information and capacity building. The culmination of these sub-projects has resulted in publication of a series of reports as key resources for Southern Slopes NRM regions (and beyond). These reports can be downloaded directly from the Terra Nova website, under the Southern Slopes Collection page. Terra Nova is a repository for recent climate change adaptation information from around Australia. Along with related resources from other cluster and national project, they are also available through the Southern Slopes Cluster section of the Climate Change in Australia website, or via the following Terra Nova links:

This peer-reviewed report is a key reference document to inform the development of regional NRM strategies, operational plans and even the development of specific programs and projects. It provides NRM planners with a wide-ranging and detailed understanding of NRM relevant climate change exposures, sensitivities, impacts, uncertainties as well as mitigation and adaptation options.

The report presents an approach to climate change adaptation planning known as adaptation pathways and guides users through five broad activities or 'plays' that make up an approach to pathways planning for climate change.

This report focuses on ways of sequestering carbon in aquatic and terrestrial environments, as well as ways of maintaining and preventing loss from existing stocks of stored carbon in the environment. Sequestration activities that reduce GHG emissions in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use sector, that are within the sphere of activities relevant to SSC NRM agencies, are examined.

Spatial prioritisation for NRM in Australia aims to support decisions about where scarce resources should be invested to create the best possible outcomes. Many NRM objectives or goals require identification of regions and then localities for such investment. This guide was developed through action research with Tasmanian NRM organisations to help to address such 'where' questions. The report is intended as a working document for ongoing adaptation and refinement, as the process of spatial prioritisation is an evolving part of NRM planning and implementation.

A capacity to adapt to change is essential for managing Australia's natural resources. The individuals, communities and organisations who manage our natural resources all have an innate capacity to adapt to change. Changes in climate, markets and technology have shaped the way we adapt the management of natural resources in urban, rural and coastal landscapes. Some of these changes are predictable and easy to manage. Others are expected, but their timing and magnitude are uncertain. Whatever the future holds, this guide can be used to build our capacity to meet future change with confidence.

SCARP has developed this tool as an excel spreadsheet template that can be adapted to assess the current situation for an NRM asset, system or sub-region/catchment. It comprises a series of questions which can be used to collate and consolidate relevant information to assist with Adaptation planning and MERI for a specified objective.

For further information

Contact Dr Peat Leith (team Leader):, (03) 6226 2650, or Liz Hamilton:, (03) 5226 4831.