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Brendan Edgar, Jim Donaldson

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1 Brendan Edgar, Jim Donaldson
I am presenting this talk on behalf of the seven people who are currently managing the TRACK initiative. Michael Douglas, Brendan Edgar, Jim Donaldson

2 Outline Background, problem, approach Major findings and implications
LWA’s contribution

3 Australia’s tropical rivers and are recognized internationally for their high conservation and biodiversity values

4 Mimosa

5 >60% of Australia’s water resources

6 Heffernan touted the Ord as the next food bowl

7 Ord stage 2 sldie

8 Research to underpin sustainable management
Likely to be more development in northern Australia Need to avoid the mistakes made in the south Lack of basic knowledge of the full implications of options => Clear need for research So while there is a need for more development in the north to meet the aspirations of the people in the region. There is a recognition that it needs to be done ins a way that will avoid the widespread degrading of rives and coasts that has occurred in the south. But making the right management decisions is currently hampered but a lack of knowledge of how these systems operate so we cannot confidently predict the full implications of potential development scenarios So there is a clear need for more research but more than this, and indeed we have an historic opportunity to undertake research that will ensure that the future development in the region takes lace in a sustainable fashion.

9 TRaCK’s Aim To provide science and knowledge that governments, communities and industries need for the sustainable management of Australia’s tropical rivers and estuaries 

10 TRaCK Research Consortium
Over 80 researchers from 18 organisations CDU, GU, UWA, UQ JCU, ANU, Uni. Canberra North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) CSIRO, eriss, AIMS, GeoScience Australia NT, WA, Qld Governments The TRACK research hub is a major new funding initiative aimed at addressing this research need. The TRACK Hub is a partnership between researchers and managers across the north and draws on expertise from across the country. It is a consortium of more than 50 of Australia's leading tropical river and coastal researchers and includes researchers form Universities, NAILSMA, national research organisations, the AG R&D corp.LWA and staff from departments within the NT, WA and Qld Governments.

11 How people are connected how people are using rivers
TRaCK Program 27 Research projects, Why do people value tropical rivers? How do tropical rivers differ across the region? How do tropical rivers work (physical and biological processes)? What are the economic opportunities for Indigenous people? How can we make good decisions about managing tropical rivers? How can we ensure uptake of this research? How important How people are connected how people are using rivers

12 Where is TRaCK working? Darwin Region Daly Mitchell Fitzroy Flinders
That’s covered what we will be doing and how we will approach it, now for where we will be doing it. We will be working in the wet-dry tropics from the tip of Cape York to Broome. Some projects will focus acros the region, such as looking at regional patterns of biodiversity or identifying different riverscape and coastal settings. Why the focus on some catchments? Why the focsu on the Fitzroy? Flinders

13 Outline Background, problem, approach Major findings and implications
LWA’s contribution

14 Why do people value tropical rivers?
National and Catchment scale: For the Indigenous people, environment and recreational use Moderate expansion of irrigated agriculture. Local community scale: Harvesting and consuming aquatic resources can make a substantial contribution to Indigenous household economies. Using choice modelling to estimate the economic value of four tropical river ecosystem services through the notion of willingness-to-pay Using qualitative systems analysis to understand how biophysical conditions and people’s values interact to impact on tropical river ecosystem services So we now know what people are willing to pay to miantina ecosystemservices form tropcial rivers – hwo this differs betwene Indigenosu and non-Indigenous people and hwo it varies between people livingin the catchments and in major cities

15 Daly seasonal calendar
We are also helping local people to record and control their knwoledge of river systems, what they value and how they work – eg this seasonal calendar form the Daly and articualting their connectionto the river system –culturla values associate with water and how changes in flows might affect these values. This will feed into social impacst assessment plannign of water managments –currently a huge gap

16 How do tropical rivers differ across the region?
A key research question was getting a betterundersatnding of how these river systems differ across the regiona nd within a ctachment. Peoples values differ and likely devleopments differ based on these characteristcis - so we have new infromatioinon hwo river systesm differ in terms of their socioeconimc characteristics, their hydrology (foerm an ecological point of view) and other physical features sucha sn geomorphology This is being devleoped into a web-based tool

17 Socio-economic profiling
Demographic Characteristics Economic Parameters Individual Wellbeing Infrastructure and Services Institutional Arrangements Environment and Culture TRaCK Project 3.1: Stoeckl, Larson, Alexandritis, Stanley, Carson, Taylor

18 Ecohydrological regionalisation
Stable summer baseflow (rainfall) Predictable summer highly intermittent Extreme harsh summer intermittent Stable summer baseflow (groundwater)

19 Biodiversity surveys Hyrtl’s Catfish
We have also been looking at how rivers differ in terms of their pattrens of biodiversity for key groups and using this informitnto identify Hyrtl’s Catfish

20 High conservation value aquatic ecosystems (HCVAE) using river biodiversity data
Fish Dave Wilson Neil Armstrong Turtle Dave Wilson

21 How can we make good decisions?
Trial of collaborative approaches in NT water allocation planning process

22 Outcomes of the TRaCK program
Improved knowledge New tools and approaches High level end-user engagement The ultimate outcome fo the TRaCK is improved management This will be achieved by the production of new knowledge around critical questions to underpin management Use this knowledge to develop new tools and approaches Ensure that there is increased capacity to use these tools but also research capacityto work with local condtions and communities High level of engagememt and clear pathways to adoption New collaborative structure supporte and processes

23 Outcomes of the TRaCK program
Improved knowledge New tools and approaches High level end-user engagement Increased capacity Researchers: 30 new research staff, 15 postgraduates Tropical regions, Cross-cultural environments End users: Water managers The ultimate outcome fo the TRaCK is improved management This will be achieved by the production of new knowledge around critical questions to underpin management Use this knowledge to develop new tools and approaches Ensure that there is increased capacity to use these tools but also research capacityto work with local condtions and communities High level of engagememt and clear pathways to adoption New collaborative structure supporte and processes

24 Capacity building with Indigenous catchment groups
Supported development of Indigenous catchment groups Training: Governance, Research skills, Presentation skills

25 Outcomes of the TRaCK program
Improved knowledge New tools and approaches High level of end-user engagement Increased capacity Indigenous partnerships The ultimate outcome fo the TRaCK is improved management This will be achieved by the production of new knowledge around critical questions to underpin management Use this knowledge to develop new tools and approaches Ensure that there is increased capacity to use these tools but also research capacityto work with local condtions and communities High level of engagememt and clear pathways to adoption New collaborative structure supporte and processes

26 Outcomes of the TRaCK program
Improved knowledge New tools and approaches Increased capacity High level engagement Indigenous partnerships Improved management The ultimate outcome fo the TRaCK is improved management This will be achieved by the production of new knowledge around critical questions to underpin management Use this knowledge to develop new tools and approaches Ensure that there is increased capacity to use these tools but also research capacityto work with local condtions and communities High level of engagememt and clear pathways to adoption New collaborative structure supporte and processes

27 How will this research make a difference?
Informing policy debate Wild Rivers Qld, Living Rivers NT, Northern development Assessment and planning: Regional Northern Taskforce (ONA, NWC) North Australian Water Futures Assessment (DEWHA, NWC) Kimberley & Cape York Heritage Assessments (DEWHA) Assessment and planning: Catchment/aquifer Environmental flow assessments Water allocation planning processes (NT, WA and Qld Departments) Monitoring River & Wetland Health (DEWHA & NWC, NT, WA, Qld Govt, NRM Groups, Kowanyama Land and Natural Resource Management Office) Working on Country Ranger Program (DEWHA) Opportunities for Indigenous enterprises Water markets and water rights

28 Where to next for TRaCK? Originally planned as a 10 year program
Support for a continuation beyond 2010 TRaCK consortium UJV Co-ordinate funds from a range of sources North Australian Biodiversity Hub Expands the scope of TRaCK – Catchment to Coast Biodiversity patterns Threats to biodiversity and ecosystem resilience Planning for conservation and management Biodiversity values and Indigenous livelihoods Ecosystem health assessment Knowledge management and adoption

29 Outline Background, problem, approach Major findings and implications
LWA’s contribution

30 TRACK History: 2004 2004 LWA Tropical Rivers Forum, Darwin
LWA Ecosystem Processes Project (CDU, GU, UWA) $30k Develop conceptual models of ecosystem processes Scope a larger program of research Identify opportunities for integrated research 2005 Develop TRaCK Prospectus with LWA Submit CERF application with LWA as host organisation 2006 NAILSMA join consortium CERF funding NWC funding Qld Smart state

31 LWA Contribution Big picture vision for R&D Scoping studies
Seeding funds for developing ideas

32 Daly River Fish and Flows Project

33 Bayesian Belief Network Model

34 LWA Contribution Big picture vision for R&D
Scoping studies Seeding funds for developing ideas Multidisciplinary, cross-program

35 TRaCK end-users/funders
>$34m program ~$ 23 m cash Dept. Environment, Water, Heritage & the Arts National Water Commission Queensland Government Land and Water Australia Fisheries R&D Corporation > $11m in-kind Qld, NT, WA Governments Regional NRM and Catchment groups Indigenous organisations (Land councils, communities) Industry e.g. Fisheries Environment NGO’s Ive talked a lot about end users, but who are they for TRaCK? Well its primarily govts, regional NRM and catchemnt management groups and Indigenosu groups Weare also workign with some industry sectors – primarily fishing but secondary users are other industry groups, mining, tourism,

36 LWA Contribution Big picture vision for R&D
Scoping studies Seeding funds for developing ideas Multidisciplinary, cross-program Brokering funding partnerships

37 TRaCK’s Governance structure
Land and Water Australia Board Program Management Committee John Childs (Chair) Richard Jenkins, Cape York Land Council Michael Robinson, LWA Peter Whitehead, NT NRETA Christine Schweizer, DEWHA Greg Claydon, Qld. DNRW Kerry Olsson, NWC Naomi Arrowsmith, WA DOW Research Executive Committee Michael Douglas, CDU, (Chair) Stuart Bunn, GU (Dep. Chair) Jim Donaldson, LWA Peter Davies, UWA Sue Jackson, CSIRO SE Ruth O’Connor, CDU Jon Olley, CSIRO LW Joe Morrison, NAILSMA Brendan Edgar, LWA, (Executive Officer) Project Co-ordinators

38 LWA Contribution Big picture vision for R&D
Scoping studies Seeding funds for developing ideas Multidisciplinary, cross-program Brokering funding partnerships Reputation, governance, management

39 How can we ensure uptake of this research?
Knowledge and Adoption Theme Staff, strategy and implementation plans Communication products/activities Active engagement of end users Clear pathways for adoption e.g. Planning processes, monitoring programs

40 LWA Contribution Big picture vision for R&D
Scoping studies Seeding funds for developing ideas Multidisciplinary, cross-program Brokering funding partnerships Reputation, governance, management Knowledge & Adoption

41 LWA Contribution Big picture vision for R&D
Scoping studies Seeding funds for developing ideas Multidisciplinary, cross-program Brokering funding partnerships Reputation, governance, management Knowledge & Adoption Commitment to the North Enduring influence – Kate, Brendan, John, Andrew, Me


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