Australia’s biodiversity and ecosystems are some of the most diverse on Earth. Our natural environment supports all Australians and is intrinsically valuable.
Climate change is already impacting Australia by warming our climate, increasing the amount and severity of disasters, raising the sea level and impacting our native species. Climate changes are expected to increase over the coming decades and some impacts are locked in, even with strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about climate science.
The Australian Government is taking practical adaptation actions to make environmental and water assets more resilient to the challenges we face in our climate.
Key strategies and programs include
National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy
The National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy sets out what the Australian Government will do to support efforts across all levels of government, businesses and the community, to better anticipate, manage and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Australia’s Strategy for Nature
Australia’s Strategy for Nature and supporting website, Australia’s Nature Hub, provides a shared roadmap to better understand, care for and sustainably manage nature to 2030. It includes explicit consideration of climate change adaptation and resilience, including in the management of species and ecosystems.
National Landcare Program
The National Landcare Program provides a range of measures to support natural resource management, sustainable agriculture and to protect Australia’s biodiversity.
Threatened Species Strategy
The Threatened Species Strategy 2021-31 sets our forward plan for action to protect and recover Australia’s threatened plants, animals and ecological communities. One of the eight action areas focuses on climate change adaptation and resilience.
Threatened Species Action Plan
The Threatened Species Action Plan (2022-2032) sets out the Australian Government’s pathway for threatened species conservation and recovery over the next 10 years. Target 7 includes impacts of climate change on priority species and places are identified and actions are underway to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity.
Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan
The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan is Australia’s long-term strategy for protecting the Great Barrier Reef. The focus is on reducing local and regional pressures to support the Reef’s health and build its resilience to climate change.
Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program
The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) will put the Great Barrier Reef at the cutting edge of global efforts to help coral reefs adapt to climate change.
RRAP Research and Development Program
The RRAP Research and Development Program is the world’s largest effort to help a significant ecosystem – in this instance the Reef – survive climate change.
Bushfire recovery for wildlife and their habitat
We are supporting recovery and building the resilience of native wildlife and their habitats impacted by the 2019-20 extreme fire events. Important work is happening across bushfire-affected regions to support long-term recovery in a changing climate.
National Soil Strategy
The National Soil Strategy sets out how Australia will value, manage and improve its soil for the next 20 years. It will support Australia’s commitment towards a more sustainable future and build resilience in our communities and agricultural sector to adapt to climate change.
Future Drought Fund
The Future Drought Fund is helping Australian farms and communities be more resilient to the impacts of drought. It includes the Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool and Climate Services for Agriculture program to provide accessible and relevant climate information for farm businesses.
Oceans Leadership Package
The Oceans Leadership Package aims to restore blue carbon ecosystems like seagrass and mangroves to build resilience to climate change and help adapt natural, social and built systems. The program plays a key role improving the health of coastal environments and protecting native species and habitat.
Nature-based solutions (NbS) are actions that protect, manage, or restore ecosystems in ways that provide benefits to communities and ecosystems at the same time. The Government is developing natural capital metrics, environmental economic accounts and market-based approaches to provide incentives to invest in environmental management and protection, including against climate risks. This work will help scale government investment by shaping private sector capital flows.
Blue Carbon Conservation, Restoration and Accounting Program
The Australian Government is funding the Blue Carbon Conservation, Restoration and Accounting Program, which will support coastal blue carbon ecosystems (mangroves, saltmarsh and sea grass) through on-ground restoration and conservation projects in Australia and overseas. These ecosystems provide a natural barrier that can reduce the impacts of climate change on our coastal areas such as flooding, sea-level rise, and more frequent and severe storm surges.
The National Environmental Science Program (NESP) is a long-term commitment funding environment and climate research through an investment of $145 million from 2014-2015 to 2020-2021, and a further $149 million from 2020-21 to 2026-27. The NESP also supports efforts to promote First Nations peoples’ leadership and expertise on climate adaptation, including through the National First Peoples Gathering on Climate Change.
Murray-Darling Basin Plan
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan (Basin Plan) sets out a coordinated approach to managing water resources amongst the 5 states and territories through which the Basin’s rivers flow. The Basin Plan was developed to ensure climate variability and climate change would be considered in real time through limits on water extraction that consider water availability. Climate change patterns, as measured over decades, are considered through regular reviews of the Basin Plan and its subsidiary instruments (such as the Environmental Watering Plan and the catchment-scale Water Resource Plans).
Torres Strait Climate Centre of Excellence
The 2022-23 Budget allocated $15.9 million over 4 years to engage with First Nations people on climate adaptation and mitigation, including establishing the Torres Strait Climate Centre of Excellence.
The Centre will be Torres Strait led with on-ground traditional knowledge embedded to establish the Centre as a national showcase of excellence in driving integrated climate resilience development.
Indigenous Ranger Programs
Indigenous ranger programs support First Nations peoples to combine traditional knowledge with conservation training to protect and manage their land, sea and culture. Indigenous Rangers perform an important role in adaptation, working to monitor changes in the environment, manage bushfires and protect vulnerable species. The Australian Government provides support for Indigenous Rangers across Australia and has committed to doubling the number of rangers by 2030.
- National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy 2021-2025
- National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy (2015)
- Australia’s climate change strategies
- Climate science
- Climate services and tools
- International adaptation
- Adapting Australia's unique environment to climate change
- Nature-based solutions for climate
- Ocean Sustainability and Climate Change
- Climate change and the agricultural sector
- Adapting to climate change publications and resources
- CSIRO climate adaptation resources available at Climate Adaptation research. The CSIRO has been working with industries and communities to adapt to climate change through practical strategies.
- The Australian Government’s Climate Change in Australia provides climate information, projections, tools, data and learning resources from the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology. It includes targeted information for the natural resource management sector.