In early August 2021, the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) released its most troubling report yet. The climate is warming faster than previously thought which means less rainfall, increased extreme weather events and rising temperatures across Southern Australia. However, we’re seeing signs across the Wheatbelt of solutions in action.
The crux: AR6 Climate Change 2021 – The Physical Science Basis
The AR6 Climate Change 2021 report held very little good news. Sea-level rises and glacial melts are virtually irreversible, carbon dioxide is becoming more concentrated, oceans are become more acidic and global temperature rises are warmer than expected.
This means that, locally, we can expect more extreme weather. Wet places are going to become wetter while dry places will become drier. We can expect more natural disasters such as bushfires, flooding and drought which poses serious threats to lives and livelihoods.
What can be done?
When it comes to stabilising the climate, the big call-to-action was centred around emissions reduction. Much of this report calls on global policymakers to take action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions however there are a number of nature-based solutions that can be enhanced for positive change – and they can be done by community and individuals.
In 2019, the IPCC released their Special Report on Climate Change and Land. While this report is now two years old, there are take-outs from this that are still relevant. These include:
Protect and restore forests and other natural landscapes
- Adoption of modern farming techniques
- Foster biodiversity in both urban and rural settings
- Develop cross-sector partnerships to enhance on-ground efforts.
What we’re seeing in the Wheatbelt
The Wheatbelt community is at the forefront of these items. There’s more and more landholders protecting and restoring native vegetation, and soil health has been a priority for farmers for decades. In fact, a recent survey by Soil CRC revealed that 91% of northern Wheatbelt farms rated “leaving a healthy environment for future generations” a top priority.
A few things that the Wheatbelt community to help right now are:
- Take part in our “Where The Wild Things Are” project to protect thousands of hectares of remnant woodland
- Register your interest in being part of the State Government’s $15 million Carbon Farming & Land Restoration Program
- Support biodiversity by enhancing habitat for threatened species such as Malleefowl and Black Cockatoos
- Simply plant more native species in your own backyard. We’re here to provide advice on the best native plants to have around your area.
The project is supported by funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.