Lisa Walpole

Lisa Walpole

With experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, Lisa is passionate about using catchment and water resource modelling to support robust decision making processes. Over the last decade Lisa has combined technical water resource and water quality modelling skills with strategic planning across a range of Australian and international catchments. Lisa is about to submit her Master of Integrated Water Management thesis with the International Water Centre, exploring how climate change is considered in strategic and operational management of the Great Barrier Reef, aligning with several recent projects undertaken through her role with Alluvium Consulting.

NRM in dynamic systems. How can prioritisation of actions to protect and restore the GBR more effectively account for climate change and climate variability?

It is widely acknowledged that climate change is one of the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). In response, the primary focus of plans, strategies and actions to date has been to increase system resilience to shocks and pressures that may be exacerbated by climate change, such as improving water quality and managing invasive species. Following recent, unprecedented coral bleaching and extreme runoff events, the need for action which considers the future climatic state, rather than managing the system as a static state, has become apparent and the management response is beginning to reflect this need with a new sense of urgency.

This paper presents the outcomes of an evaluation of the current GBR management response at the strategic and operational level, and opportunities for targeted management responses which better reflect the future climate state and the multiple dimensions through which climate events threaten the condition of the reef. It will also reflect on outcomes of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation investment pathways prioritisation process, and the current review of how climate change is being represented in water models across Queensland to support decision making which considers a range of future climate states.

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