Future scenarios of fire and biodiversity

Scenario planning is a powerful way to evaluate management alternatives when contending with uncontrollable and irreducible uncertainty. It’s a particularly useful approach for exploring ecological processes with high levels of uncertainty such as bushfires and climate change.

In November, our team from the Spatial Solutions Fire Ecology Project ran a one-day workshop with 30 fire and biodiversity managers and researchers from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Our aim was to identify a small set of critical uncertainties that might influence the success of alternative fire management options.

scenario workshop group

Participants in the workshop on fire and biodiversity scenarios held at University of Melbourne, Parkville.  Participating agencies: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Vic), Parks Victoria, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and SA Department of Environment. 

Co-designing scenarios with key stakeholders proved a fantastic opportunity to clarify social and conservation objectives, develop novel management alternatives and explore a range of possible futures relating to extreme weather, demographics and public policy.

The next stage of the Spatial Solutions project will be to use a ‘storyline and simulation’ approach to estimate the consequences of alternative management options against the backdrop of critical uncertainties identified in the workshop.

If you’re interested in discussing ideas, tools and methods relating to scenario analysis and fire modelling get in touch with Luke Kelly (ltkelly@unimelb.edu.au) and Kate Giljohann (kmgi@unimelb.edu.au).

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