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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Adapting Australia's Agriculture

Two recent releases have highlighted the role of adaptation in Australian agriculture. The first is a new book from CSIRO Publishing entitled, Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change, provides a comprehensive look at climate change, its implications for Australian agriculture and opportunities for adaptation. It covers multiple agriculture sectors, from cropping to forestry to fisheries, as well as the adaptive capacity of land managers (contents). Further, the linkages between adaptation and mitigation are addressed with a look at greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. The book is available now through CSIRO Publishing.

Meanwhile, a new parliamentary report has been tabled by the House of Representatives' Standing Committee on Primary Industries and Resources, entitled Farming the Future. The Committee was charged with reporting on the potential impacts of climate change to Australian agriculture, the role of government in facilitating adaptation, and the potential contributions of rural research and development to assist in the adaptation process. Ultimately, the report makes a number of recommendations to be taken up by Federal, State and Territory governments. While those recommendations to some extent appear to represent a wish list for Australian farmers, a common theme is the importance of empowering local, community-based solutions as opposed to top-down, 'one-size-fits-all' policies.

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