Loss of biodiversity is a major environmental issue globally and is primarily driven by anthropogenic threats. Climate change and habitat fragmentation are considered key pressures on biodiversity. However, little is known in regard to the synergistic effects between these two factors, nor the associated planning policy implications. This is despite evidence that the impacts of climate change on biodiversity will be much greater in fragmented landscapes (Opdam & Wascher 2004). 

Local governments have demonstrated an incremental,  slow approach to climate change adaptation planning in Queensland (Baker 2012). This failure to adopt a comprehensive planning approach to address the main threats posed by climate change highlights an ongoing disconnect between science and policy that has lead to poorly informed planning policy worldwide (Kozlowski and Peterson 2005; Dreelin and Rose 2008). Bridging this gap is crucial to the development of effective climate change adaptation strategies integrated with conservation strategies and planning responses. Achieving this goal will require a new synthesis of biogeography and conservation biology, as well as collaboration with the planning profession. Thus, to effectively address the conservation of biodiversity under the combined pressures of land-use change and climate change a synthesis will be required across disciplines, and between theory and practice.  

The aim of this project is evaluate and analyse the planning and policy implications of the combined effects of land-use change and climate change on biodiversity loss. Using this knowledge, planning and policy guidelines will be developed to: 1) aid effective planning and decision-making for the conservation of terrestrial biodiversity under climate change. , and 2)  effectively bridge the gap between theory and practice in the development of climate change integrated conservation strategies, natural resource management plans and land-use decision making.

Funding: University of Queensland Research Scholarship (UQRS)
Advisors: Dr Karen McNamaraAssoc Prof Ann PetersonProf Clive McAlpine

Project members

Ingrid BAKER

PhD candidate - Conferred January 2021