Kakadu National Park Landscape Symposia Series 2007-2009. Symposium 4: Climate change

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2010

Internal Report 567
Winderlich S (ed)
Supervising Scientist Division

About the report

The Climate Change Symposium is the fourth in the series of symposia and workshops being held by Kakadu National Park focusing on agents of landscape change. Previous forums have included a landscape change overview and workshops on weed and fire management. The remaining forum in this series will deal with feral animal management.

The aim of the symposium was to have an effective two-way transfer of knowledge between KNP staff, researchers, the Kakadu Research Advisory Committee (KRAC) members, stakeholders and Traditional Owners on issues pertinent to:

  • climate change
  • management implications and recommendations
  • visions of landscape health and resilience
  • future research directions

and to ensure that the outcomes of research are integrated in a timely and sensitive way into Park management.

The objective was to place this knowledge in a management context and pose questions to Park Managers and Traditional Owners regarding future management frameworks and research directions.

The symposium was held at Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn in Jabiru on 6-7 August 2008. Over one hundred participants from a wide range of stakeholders including government agencies, academic institutions, landholders, Traditional Owners and indigenous associations attended.

The format for the symposium included a series of presentations followed by workshops on each day focusing on key issues relating to climate change. Presenters and workshop facilitators were given a series of focus questions to assist in guiding the information presented and the subsequent discussions.

The focus questions given to presenters were:

  • Summarise the current knowledge in the area of expertise you are presenting (refer to relevant KNP's management objectives as outlined in the Kakadu 5th Plan of Management).
  • What are the main threats to landscape health in KNP as a result of climate change (ie what are the priority management issues)?
  • How should the Park manage these threats to maintain and/or restore a resilient and healthy landscape in KNP?
  • What information is still required to develop effective land management policy, ie what are the key knowledge gaps?

Workshop facilitators were asked to discuss the relevant presentations and any future management or research implications. Workshop facilitators were given the following focus questions.

With reference to KNP's management objectives as listed in the Plan of Management, how should forum participants best:

  • Consider and review the issues, questions and recommendations posed by presenters in the context of their focus questions?
  • Review how threats are currently being managed and make any suggestions for improvement?
  • Manage for the impacts of extreme events related to their workshop topic?

Forum participants were also asked to consider:

  • What are the opportunities resulting from climate change?
  • What needs and opportunities exist for collaboration across the region?
  • What are the implications for vulnerable habitats and species including migratory species?
  • Are refugia a viable option to preserve threatened species and habitats?
  • What can be done to increase the resilience of the landscape?

The forum was very successful and certainly met its objectives with a considerable amount of very useful information generated that will inform the management of Kakadu National Park. Much of the information is currently informing the Park's Climate Change Strategy which is nearing completion. Thank you once again to all those who participated.