The protection and restoration of native vegetation for biodiversity and carbon activities enables ecosystem functionality to be maintained or increased whilst providing carbon storage capacity.
The difference between restoration and protection can in many cases can be impossible to differentiate. For this reason in the CRP* Wimmera CMA have identified the highest priority for each in one map and will be known as native vegetation management (see map). The separation of the two will be provided on the Wimmera CMA website which will allow for more specific prioritisation should it be required for a specific project.
Adaptation in relation to native vegetation will focus on providing resilience of assets against the likely consequences of climate change. The climate change vulnerability mapping shows that some ecosystems are likely to be more vulnerable than others as a result of direct impacts of two factors: increases in temperature and reduction in rainfall.
Native vegetation types that are most sensitive are generally those associated with waterways or those evolved in cooler wetter climates, for example wet sclerophyll forests on southeast slopes of the Grampians. Of these the most vulnerable will be those that are degraded or fragmented, with a lower adaptive capacity.
There are also likely to be indirect impacts, such as increases in fire threats in some areas, pest plants and changes in land use, such as cropping of wetlands.
In the Wimmera, where feasible, the key to reducing the vulnerability of native vegetation to climate change will be achieved by improving the adaptive capacity of ecosystems. This complements RCS objectives by:
Climate change vulnerability is mapped to identify areas for priority climate change adaptation action. Given that the priority setting process for native vegetation mitigation is based on multiple benefits, they have then been combined with the climate change vulnerability maps to identify the highest priority areas for native vegetation management, assuming both are equal. These are shown in more detail in the council chapters of the CRP*.
*CRP refers to the Wimmera CMA's Carbon Ready Plan (http://www.wcma.vic.gov.au/docs/default-source/corporatedocs/Carbon-Ready-Plan/wimmera-carbon-ready-plan.pdf)