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The challenge

Building community resilience

Exacerbated by climate change, recent Australian droughts have had many adverse impacts. Significant impacts include rural economic losses, mental health and social well-being in rural farming communities, degradation of agroecological systems and biodiversity losses.

Australia is shifting its response from dealing with drought as a crisis to more proactive approaches to build long term drought preparedness and resilience.

Scientific knowledge and evidence on how to build resilience in communities can inform better planning.

Our response

Applying resilience science to regional planning

Through the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund Regional Drought Resilience Planning program, consortiums of stakeholders are developing regional drought resilience (RDR) plans across approximately 70 communities.

Key stakeholders include local government, community organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, farming groups, farmers and community members. Development of these plans is supported by the Australian and State and Territory Governments.

As part of the Regional Drought Resilience Planning program, we're applying resilience, adaption and transformation knowledge and expertise to independently review every RDR plan.

We're assessing the components and quality of each plan through the lens of resilience science principles and practices. We're providing feedback to each region, including suggestions on how the plan could be improved now or into the future.

The results

Preparing communities for the future

We developed a guide that's informed by current resilience thinking, principles and leading practices to use as a basis for the reviews, and to help build the knowledge of those planning 'on the ground' in the regions.

We've so far reviewed 34 RDR plans. We have also produced a synthesis report based on review of the first 15 RDR plans to promote learning within government and improve capacity and support for future regional drought planning.

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