Climate Change Adaptation Forum

Tony Lovell, Bob Miles, Steven Bray, Allan Lauder and Ed Charmley (7)     IMG_1438    Peter Saunders, Kellys Creek Longreach, Damian Arthur DERM, Bill Bode, The Plains Prairie and Greg Bowden, Baratria Winton

The Climate Change Adaptation Forum was held in Longreach on Thursday 12th November 2009.

The aim of this forum was to look at climate change in relation to property based community members and adaptation methods for producers in the Desert Channels Queensland (DCQ) region.

The forum was community focussed and run by DCQ, along with the Cooper Creek Catchment Committee (CCCC) and the Georgina Diamantina Catchment Committee (GDCC). The intention was to have community input in planning making sure that the topics were relevant to DCQ regional property based community members and to source presenters that are leaders in their field and able to answer the ‘tough’ questions on the day.

The support from local graziers and industry for the Climate Change Adaptation Forum was testament to the calibre of the presenters and the relevance of the forum topics. Feedback highlighted the appreciation for the ‘big picture’ approach to climate change and the broad range of speakers. A positive message and some clarity were the main outcomes of the day.

The forum was funded by the Queensland Government and the Blueprint for the Bush program through the Landholder Support Service Project.

Forum Topics

Climate change

Understandable explanation of climate change with science backing, impact on producers in western Queensland? Emeritus Professor Bob Miles, Central Queensland University. A pragmatic look at climate change, where all the data is at and what it means for the pastoral industry

Emeritus Professor Bob Miles – Central Queensland University
Bob has more than 25 years experience in research related to the sustainable regional economic development, and the use and management of Australia’s natural resources, including climate change adaptation and mitigation. After being awarded his PhD in 1993 Bob has since held a range of senior management positions including Regional Director for the QDPI and is an appointed fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. Bob has been engaged in research into the implications of climate change for the past 15 years working with the Agriculture and land use sectors, Regional Economic Development sector, Local Government, Tourism, Industry, Mining and The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Bob has been retained by the United Nations as an international expert on Climate Change Impacts on Government and Governance in the Asia Pacific region.

Methane emissions

The science behind methane emissions, current research – Dr Ed Charmley CSIRO. Information and current research to better measure and manage CH4.

Dr Ed Charmley – CSIRO
Ed was raised on a beef and dairy farm in Wales before emigrating to Canada where he worked in livestock research for 20 years with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In 2005 he moved to Australia and is now working for CSIRO Livestock Industries. He currently manages the CSIRO Rendel Laboratory in Rockhampton and is heavily involved in developing methane mitigation strategies for the northern Australian cattle industry. He has published over 60 research papers on various aspects of livestock production and has extensive experience in communicating research findings to the agricultural industry through presentations and various media. In 2010 he will be establishing a livestock research group in Townsville and this will entail the re-development of “Lansdown Research Station” near Woodstock that will focus on better understanding of the carbon balance in the rangelands.

Emissions comparison

Grazing vs. Fire, sheep and cattle case study properties in DCQ region – Dr Steven Bray, DPI&F. In answer to questions raised by graziers at the 3 C’s Forums held earlier in the year, Steven was specifically invited to prepare a greenhouse impact comparison (not economic comparison) of grazing versus destocking on two key land types in our region. The analysis explained the calculations and discussed the tradeoffs between these two land management options particularly in relation to livestock methane emissions reduction versus greater burning emissions.

Dr Steven Bray – DPI&F
 Steven has fifteen years experience in grazing land research in Queensland. Specific areas of research include greenhouse and carbon budgets for the grazing industry, pasture and weed ecology and management, grazed woodland monitoring and assessment of change, and, rangeland sustainability and management. Steven believes it is important to understand the net greenhouse gas position of the beef industry including Kyoto-compliant and non-Kyoto compliant greenhouse emissions, sequestration and stocks and actively investigate management options to improve and justify the beef industries greenhouse gas impact while still having a profitable and productive industry.

Carbon in nature

What is it? What does it do? How does it affect me as a grazier? – Tony Lovell, Soil Carbon Research University of Sunshine Coast. The vast majority of the public as well as politicians and bureaucrats view the climate crisis and greenhouse gases in terms of (reputed) sources and sinks, without fully understanding the CARBON CYCLE or how it can be enhanced. Did you know that a 1% change in soil organic matter across just one-quarter of the World’s land area could sequester 300 billion tonnes of physical CO2? More green growing plants means more captured carbon dioxide – more water – more production – more biodiversity – more profit.

­Tony Lovell – Soil Carbon Research, Bond Research
 Tony is the Co-founder of Soil Carbon Australia, an advocacy and awareness raising organization concerned that global land degradation be reversed and climate change mitigated. Tony provides pragmatic and commercial advice on soil carbon to both governments and the private sector. He is a Qualified Chartered with 20 years’ practical business and taxation experience. Soil Carbon Australia is focused on raising awareness of the importance of restoring natural function to the world’s 5 billion hectares of degraded grazing lands. Tony has been trained in the process of regenerative grazing management, and uses it on his own property in Queensland, he is also an accountant with 20 years’ practical business and taxation experience.

Strategies for addressing climate change

What can we do as grazier’s to address climate change? – Allan Lauder, Carbon Grazing. This presentation will focus on strategies to reduce the impact of an increasingly variable climate and explain why resilient landscapes are more profitable and produce lower greenhouse emissions. The emphasis will be on how to increase landscape resilience, as resilient landscapes are best equipped to absorb changed circumstances, while fragile ones collapse.

Alan Lauder – Carbon Grazing

Alan comes from a family of early innovators. His grandfather was the first in his district to have both a wireless and telephone. He has dedicated his most recent years to uncovering the unknowns of the carbon cycle within the grazing industry. He occupies a unique position in the carbon debate, after 30 years of operating a successful rural operation and ongoing interaction with the scientific community. This practical experience has proved invaluable when united with the understanding of the country’s leading scientists.

Download Alan Lauder’s powerpoint presentation
View video of Alan Lauder’s live presentation
Download Alan Lauder’s forum handout

Panel session

The forum concluded with a panel session that gave participants the opportunity to put questions to the experts.

View video of panel session

William Herrington, South Africa & Julie Bauman, Monklands Alpha1   Steve Kimber, Hobartville Alpha and Reid Bauman, Monklands Alpha (1)   Simon Campbell, Norwood Blackall and John Saunders Manfred Longreach (1)

Sandy Williams, Rotherfield Ilfracombe and Bruce Collins, Daintree Winton (1)   Fiona Loudoun-Shand, Heather Morton, Neleh Downs Longreach, Errol Entriken Sesbania, Winton & Michael Mackay, Hotspur Jericho (1)   Dave Thompson Australian Government, Simon Campbell, Norwood Blackall (2)

Anthony Puglisi NAB, Damian O'Rourke NAB & Lew Markay DPI&F (2)