Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

Policy considerations for managing wetlands under a changing climate

C. M. Finlayson A B O , S. J. Capon C , D. Rissik D , J. Pittock E , G. Fisk F , N. C. Davidson A G , K. A. Bodmin H , P. Papas I , H. A. Robertson J , M. Schallenberg K , N. Saintilan L , K. Edyvane M and G. Bino N
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW 2640, Australia.

B UNESCO-IHE, Institute for Water Education, NL-2601 DA, Delft, Netherlands.

C Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Nathan, Qld 4111, Australia.

D National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Qld 4217, Australia.

E Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

F BMT WBM Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Qld 4000, Australia.

G Nick Davidson Environmental, Wigmore HR6 9UN, UK.

H National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Hamilton 3216, New Zealand.

I Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia.

J Department of Conservation, Nelson 7010, New Zealand.

K Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand.

L Department of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia.

M Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT 0810, Australia.

N Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

O Corresponding author. Email: mfinlayson@csu.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 68(10) 1803-1815 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF16244
Submitted: 5 July 2016  Accepted: 28 December 2016   Published: 3 March 2017

Journal Compilation © CSIRO 2017 Open Access CC BY-NC-ND

Abstract

Drawing on the experience and lessons of wetland researchers and managers in Australia and New Zealand, we examined the implications of climate change for wetland policy and management, and identified potential adaptation responses and the information needed to support these. First, we considered wetland vulnerability to climate change, focusing on wetland exposure and sensitivity. We then outlined the existing policy context for dealing with climate change, with an emphasis on the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. We then considered how the objectives and targets for wetland management can be set in the face of climate change, how management can be adapted to climate change given the uncertainties involved, and how we can monitor and evaluate wetland condition in the face of climate change. We concluded with a set of principles to guide adaptation of wetland conservation and management policy to climate change.

Additional keywords: adaptation, inland wetland ecosystems, vulnerability, Ramsar Convention.


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