Interdisciplinary research for a sustainable Australia: explaining the National Environmental Science Program

December 3, 2021

The Climate Systems Hub is one of 4 research hubs currently funded under the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP).

NESP is in its second phase, with funding of $149 million from 2021-22 to 2026-27 to support 4 new research hubs. These hubs are partnerships between organisations that bring together multiple disciplines, institutions and expertise to form a national capability.

The Climate Systems Hub will work collaboratively with all hubs to ensure NESP accomplishes its aim of helping decision makers achieve positive environmental outcomes and build environmental and climate resilience.

Cross-cutting initiatives

Each NESP hub leads one of 4 cross-cutting initiatives. These initiatives will enhance collaboration across and between the 4 NESP hubs, and bring together scientists, economists, climate experts, Indigenous Australians and natural resource managers across the NESP research portfolio.

The initiatives will facilitate cross-hub collaborations and support a national and integrated approach to solving some of our biggest environmental challenges.

The 4 initiatives are:

  • Climate adaptation initiative: bringing together adaptation research across NESP to help improve Australia’s climate resilience. This initiative is led by the Climate Systems Hub.
  • Threatened and migratory species and ecological communities initiative: informing program management and regulatory processes to protect Australia’s ecosystems. This initiative is led by the Resilient Landscapes Hub.
  • Protected place management initiative: supporting on-ground management of protected places and heritage, including national parks and Ramsar sites. This initiative is led by the Marine and Coastal Hub.
  • Waste impact management initiative: strengthening waste management policy development, program management and regulatory processes. This initiative is led by the Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub.

Encouraging multi-disciplinary solutions

The initiatives provide a mechanism for enhanced collaboration and interaction between NESP research hubs, and therefore across research fields.

Through the Climate adaptation initiative, for example, the Climate Systems Hub will collaborate with the Protected place management initiative to ensure risk assessments and climate adaptation plans for Australia’s National Parks and Heritage sites are based on the best available information on likely future climate and its impacts, as well as best-practice adaptation options.

NESP impact

As well as achieve impact through the research hubs and initiatives, NESP will continue to further enhance existing partnerships and collaboration with Indigenous communities and will support Indigenous-led approaches and best-practice Indigenous inclusion in all its research activities.

In addition, NESP has a strong co-design focus to ensure hub researchers collaborate, engage, develop and deliver research alongside Australian research-users to provide targeted, relevant and useable information, tools and data.

The research hubs, initiatives, Indigenous partnerships and co-design approach combine under NESP to provide world-class science to improve our understanding, management and conservation of Australia’s environment.


More information:

Simon Marsland, Climate Systems Hub Leader

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