Adaptation Pathways: a playbook for developing options for climate change adaptation in Natural Resource Management

This playbook[1] is a result of collaborative exploration, design and testing of the approach among the Southern Slopes Climate Change Adaptation Research Partnership (SCARP) research team and Natural Resources Management (NRM) planners from the nine agencies in the Southern Slopes region of Australia [2]. It should be considered a working document that will evolve and change through application and learning.

This playbook presents an approach to climate change adaptation planning known as adaptation pathways – ‘an analytical approach to planning that explores and sequences a set of possible actions that are based on external developments over time’ (Haasnoot et al. 2013:485).  It guides users through five broad activities or ‘plays’ that make up an approach to pathways planning. It provides a brief description of each activity and directs the user to relevant sections of the supporting Southern Slopes Information Report (Wallis et al. 2014), which provides greater detail on each activity, including links to relevant resources and literature.

The five key activities of this approach to pathways planning are:

  • Define objectives for pathways (Section 2.1)
  • Understand the current situation (Section 2.2)
  • Analyse possible futures (Section 2.3)
  • Develop adaptation pathways (Section 2.4)
  • Implementation, monitoring, evaluation, reporting, improvement (MERI) and learning (Section 2.5)

This playbook does not describe how to write or implement NRM plans or strategies for adaptation. Rather, it guides users through a process for identifying adaptation measures that can be used to draft an adaptation plan. This is not a prescriptive approach. Rather it seeks to reflect and support the typically non-linear, ‘juggling’ nature of NRM planning.

[1] ‘A notional range of possible tactics in any sphere of activity’. Collins English Dictionary

[2] Corangamite CMA, Cradle Coast NRM, East Gippsland CMA, Glenelg Hopkins CMA, Local Land Services SE NSW, NRM North, NRM South, Port Phillip Westernport CMA, and West Gippsland CMA.



Detailed Descriptions
Planning Documentation, Report
160599 - Policy and Administration not elsewhere classified, 160507 - Environment Policy
Geographic and Temporal Extents
Southern Rivers, Port Phillip and Western Port, South, Glenelg Hopkins, West Gippsland, Corangamite, North, East Gippsland
Tasmanian Southern Ranges, Tasmanian South East, Tasmanian Central Highlands, Tasmanian Northern Midlands, Southern Volcanic Plain, Tasmanian Northern Slopes, Tasmanian West
Start Start text End End text
Attributions and Constraints
This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced © 2015 RMIT University, University of Tasmania, and Monash University
University of Tasmania, RMIT University
Karyn Bosomworth, Andrew Harwood, Peat Leith, Phillip Wallis, Kerry Bridle, Liz Hamilton, Bec Harris, Brent Jacobs, Nooshin Toorabin, Sophie Turner, Andrew Baldwin, Paula Camenzuli, Rex Candy, Luke Diddams, Emmaline Froggatt, Marty Gent, Ernst Kemmerer, Kristy Moyle, Chris Pitfield, Shane Scanlon, Rod Keenan, Christopher Lee, James McKee, Rohan Nelson, Graeme Anderson, Christine Forster
Bosomworth, K., Harwood, A., Leith, P., and Wallis, P. (2015). Adaptation Pathways: a playbook for developing options for climate change adaptation in Natural Resource Management. Southern Slopes Climate Change Adaptation Research Partnership (SCARP): RMIT University, University of Tasmania, and Monash University.
Dr Karyn Bosomworth