As new principles for managing biodiversity under climate change are developed, we envisage this will lead natural resource managers to develop a range of additional or revised strategic goals for biodiversity conservation, and associated new and creative ideas for on-ground implementation.
Below, are a suite of potential strategic goals that could be established to support the new principles suggested in this module.
Help nature take its course
Target actions to increase natural resilience and adaptability; i.e., ensure that species and ecosystems can rely on their inbuilt strategies to respond to environmental change. This is particularly relevant to restoration to enhance resilience in highly fragmented and degraded landscapes.
Manage change in key ecosystem services
While allowing climate-driven ecological change to happen, ensure that key processes and functions are monitored and decision points are identified. This allows active choices to more intensively manage ecosystem services in order to maintain them, or to manage transitions in community reliance on these services.
Manage for diversity and monitor what works
Maintain or provide high diversity of habitats, microenvironments, species, and genes to increase the probability that some species will persist and continue to evolve and adapt to environmental change.
Promote re-assembly with native species
Ensure that if local native species disappear and are replaced, the new ecological community is still dominated by native species, with native defined broadly (i.e., native to Australia, not just by locality) or more narrowly (i.e., native to the broad region, again, not just by locality) depending on the underlying context.
Identify, manage, and protect refugia
Include priorities to manage areas where species are most likely to persist or retreat to in the landscape.
Use 'CAR' principles to conserve environment types
Employ analyses based on Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative (CAR) principles to protect and manage the greatest range of Australian environments, to have the greatest chance of capturing the diversity of the biota into the future. The CAR principle, if well implemented, is recognised to be a robust strategy under climate change, meaning that it will continue to achieve its goals into the future, irrespective of change in the specific plants and animals that it supports. This goal includes a focus on managing areas that best complement gaps in the National Reserve System using CAR criteria.
Actively manage ecological processes
Manage specific processes to achieve desired outcomes as efficiently as possible. This can include managing natural ecological processes such as fire or dispersal, enhancing connectivity, or more interventionist approaches such as engineering water flows, or establishing or maintaining species that provide supporting habitat for a wide range of other species over time.
Intensively manage ‘museums’
Where species or communities are so highly valued that change or loss is too much to accept, use intensive management to maintain them somewhere, even if in a very artificial state (e.g., captive populations, intensively managed reserves, wild zoos).
Encourage positive land use changes for biodiversity
Where land use transitions are necessary, favour those that have positive or neutral consequences for biodiversity, even if the land use is still predominantly focused on human needs. Aim for actions with multiple benefits.