Influencing Policy

The TREND program is dedicated to open and effective communication and collaboration between researchers, government and the wider community. As part of that commitment, the work of TREND is closely aligned to state and national policy questions and priorities (see strategic alignment). In order to ensure that TREND supports government policy and decision making, researchers design their data collection methodologies to produce information that is useful to answer the highest priority questions.

Initial policy questions relevant to government decision making and the data that TREND generates were developed via a stakeholder consultation process. In the future, an iterative feedback process between the development of policy questions, the acquisition of new information and the development of policy itself is expected.

These current policy questions are summarised for each research group below:

Terrestrial Ecosystems

  • What drives species composition and how will this be affected by climate change?
    • What species or ecosystems could provide early indicators of stress?
    • What species and ecological communities are most and least at risk from climate change and what are the expected impacts?
    • How will climate change interact with other disturbance to influence ecosystem attributes?
  • What adaptation strategies could improve the resilience of key species and communities?
    • What shifts in distribution, species composition and ecological characteristics can we expect?
    • What are the implications for conservation planning and landscape design?

Marine Ecosystems

  • How will marine invertebrate distributions shift under a changing climate?
  • What are the potential implications of these shifts for the representativeness of marine parks?

Terrestrial Primary Production

  • What are the likely impacts of climate change on different agricultural regions and industries even after cost effective steps have been taken to adapt?
  • How will these impacts affect the continuing viability of farms?
  • What will be the likely environmental degradation (e.g. wind and water erosion)?