Australia’s primary industries are likely to be uniquely impacted upon by climate change. In February 2011 the inaugural Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI) conference was held to discuss the current state of climate change research across Australia’s primary industries. Never before had policy makers, producers and scientists from all sectors of our primary industries been brought together in one event to focus on the challenges and opportunities of climate change. This conference was a unique forum to address those challenges and opportunities by sharing knowledge across the various sectors, scientific disciplines and the industry-policy-science divide.
While this collection of review papers provides an excellent knowledge base for industry and government to plan and implement policy and make further research investments to address the obvious gaps there is still much to be done in terms of research and the co-ordination of research. The often unrelated research activity in the adaptation and mitigation components of climate change research have the potential to have either synergistic or antagonistic outcomes at several scales and in several sectors ranging from policy to industry and community. The significant injection of research and development funds into this area through the Carbon Farming Futures and other associated programs will provide further impetus to the need for national co-ordination of climate change research in Australia’s Primary Industries.
To build on all this knowledge and experience gained at the 2011 CCRSPI Conference, CCRSPI is currently (2012) finalising the national climate change research strategy for the sector, with an associated audit of existing projects and capacity, in order to encourage and advocate the cross-sectoral RDE needs and co-ordination for the future.