Climate Resilient Revegetation: Options and changed management issues

vegetation strategy climate change

Traditionally seeds for revegetation are sourced from ‘local provenance’ often within a restricted area. This ‘closest to the site is best’ overarching principle generally guides revegetation activities across Victoria and Australia to maintain genetic diversity and establish healthy vegetation with the capacity to tolerate local conditions. However climate change is expected to substantially alter the local condition of sites that may render local diversity alone potentially incapable of tolerating new environmental conditions that are projected to result from climate change. Increasingly revegetation needs to address the current and future potential impacts of climate change.

EcoFutures completed a situation analysis to guide the future development of a climate-resilient revegetation strategy for Melbourne Water. This situation analysis describes the current position and strategy adopted by a range of practitioners across Australia in implementing revegetation activities to adapt to a changing climate in the future. This background understanding provide a basis for Melbourne Water to develop its own approach to climate-resilient revegetation focusing on three broad themes: strategic, operational, and communication issues.

We undertook an extensive literature review and interviews with practitioners to understand their existing practices and positions on delivering revegetation activities, ranging from revegetation techniques, seed sourcing, preparation and deployment of revegetation, and monitoring for success. This project also looked into the management and community perspectives on climate-resilient revegetation and the level of acceptance and risk appetite with delivery and implementation of these activities.