Climate research collaboration heats up with new direction for 2019

An eight year climate research partnership between industry, government and research institutions is moving into its third phase with a renewed strategic direction, set to boost industry preparedness for a changing climate.

For Australian primary producers, the variability of the Australian weather and climate is one of the most difficult risks to manage. Enter the Climate Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CRSPI), a partnership aimed at introducing strategies and innovations related to climate and climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation.

AgriFutures Australia’s Senior Manager, Research John Smith said the value of the collaborative program lies in the partner focus on investing for industry, but also the community.

“CRSPI provides a forum for partners to share knowledge, draw on capability and co-invest where a collaborative response is the most efficient and effective way of addressing a particular research, development and extension (RD&E) need,” said Mr Smith.

“The unprecedented rate of change makes collaboration even more important, as the resources required to address climate change are beyond the capacity of any one organisation to fund or implement.”

A recent industry collaboration through the Australian Government Rural R&D for Profit Program Improved use of seasonal forecasting to increase farmer profitability has improved the accuracy of forecasting tools and timing of these around key periods of risk for agricultural applications.

Research partnerships such as these are continuing to work on prediction tools to enable farmers to easily tap into the science and understand if there are financial or environmental benefits in changing management practices.

As the climate change conversation gathers pace, the revised CRSPI strategy will focus on industry adoption and application of research outcomes that build industry preparedness.

A Coordination Group has been established to oversee CRSPI, Chaired by NSW Department of Primary Industries’ Jason Crean, along with representatives from the Australian, State and Territory governments, Research and Development Corporations and CSIRO.

CRSPI Chair, Jason Crean said three focus areas have been identified as part of the new strategy; adaptation to climate change, emissions intensity and markets, and climate change in business and policy.

“Through CRSPI we’re looking forward to building the resilience of our primary industries by making well informed choices about responding to climate signals and investing in the research that’s going to make improvements in industry productivity and sustainability,” said Dr Crean.

Key activities in 2019 for CRSPI include a partner’s forum in early 2019 and a climate research conference in late 2019 to bring together industry stakeholders.

The CRSPI partnership involves the Australian, State and Territory Governments, Rural Research Development Corporations (RDCs), CSIRO and universities and supports the National Primary Industries RD&E Framework which has been in place since 2007.

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