Helping nature adapt to a new climate


“Victoria is blessed with an amazing environment: from the alps to the mallee, tall forests to deep oceans, from rocky hills to fertile farmlands, wilderness, and urban parks. Nature at its best.

These are the places where we live, work and seek respite; the natural areas we cherish and love… They forge our sense of identity, of community and of place.

As climate change intensifies, many of these places will change – a lot. Some plants and animals will decline, others will increase, some may move somewhere else. Some forests may disappear, some grasslands may turn to shrublands.

We now have to work out – not only, “how do we protect our current environment” – but also, “what can we do to help natural areas adapt to a new climate?”


For the past few months I’ve been working on a web site all about saving biodiversity under climate change. Climate change can be a pretty depressing topic so our goal was to create a bright site that, without dodging the challenges, focused on the many positive things we all can do to save biodiversity.

I’m pretty biased but I think the site looks awesome. Please check it out at VicNature 2050. I hope you like it.

The images above were designed by John Sampson (Ecotype). Many thanks to the project organisers at the Victorian National Parks Association, Royal Society of Victoria and the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute. The project was sponsored by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Parks Victoria.

15 thoughts

  1. Thanks Ian these are useful measures and something I will apply north of the border to my farm block in the Southern Tablelands. Clear communication is critical.

  2. Hi Ian and All,

    Yes given the climate change predictions and the often fragmented areas of natural vegetation in much of SE Australia, I think we are going to have to take a deep breath and dare to get out in front by planting spp. from drier zones into the currently wetter zones. For example Eucalyptus behriana into the dry E. microcarpa forests, E. bicolor into riparian E. microcarpa forests.

    There will inevitably be lots of disputes as we go but I think that’s unavoidable.

    Neville Scarlett

    1. Hi Neville, yes, it will be a challenging time. There’s a lot of potential to learn a lot about which species will grow where, and which won’t, especially by planting in cleared areas on private property. Thanks for commenting, best wishes Ian

  3. Hi Ian, I recently came across the VicNature 2050 website and forwarded it to colleagues, who have commented how good it is- simple but useful. Well done! Regards, Carla.

    1. Hi Carla, thanks very much, I’m glad people have found it useful. Unfortunately it took ages to make it sound simple. My initial working rule was to never use a word that had three or more syllables unless I absolutely had no choice. You’ve no idea how hard that it is. 🙂 Thanks again, Ian.

  4. G’day Ian, it’s a really good site: congratulations to you and all the others involved. It will be very useful and inspiring to people in Landcare and similar social movements who care about their places and think about climate change.

  5. Nice to see your VIC 2050 site communicating plainly. Nothing disengages more than being spoken to “from science” as opposed to “with”. Noted todays ABC news article on plants in the outback not responding to short term weather events ( I was recently out at Tang Tang reserve where water hasn’t graced that particular wetland since 2001 – talk about resilience!

    1. Hello Roo, thanks for writing in. I still have to read that ABC article, so thank you for the link. I hope Tang Tang gets a good watering sometime soon. Best wishes Ian

  6. Hi Ian, as someone who has been involved in the revegetation and ongoing maintenance and enhancement of two local nature reserves for thirty odd years, the site immediately struck a chord with me, well done!

    1. Hello Duncan, thanks very much for your comment, I’m glad you liked it. I hope many others follow your great example in years to come too. Best wishes Ian

  7. Biodiversity is important and it must be saved. There are areas where natural vegetation is disappearing and it is dagerous to our ecosystem .Thanks for your post

  8. Fantastic. Thanks for your work conserving our global biodiversity. I’ll have to look more in-depth at these guidelines and how I apply them on my small farm. Off the top of my head:
    2) “accept natural areas will change;”
    6) “connect landscapes using climate-ready plants;”

    and I aspire to do:
    8) “record changes in our local area”

    Fanstastic work!

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