Adaptation Action Plans are one of the key mechanisms through which the Victorian Government will deliver on its five-year adaptation priorities. Adaptation Action Plans will build Victoria’s climate resilience by ensuring that the Victorian Government considers climate change risks in its own policies and operations, as well as creating the enabling environment for communities, industries, non-government organisations and local governments to adapt to climate change. The Adaptation Action Plans do not address mitigation. The roadmap to net-zero emissions is set out in the Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy.

Adaptation is a dynamic, continuous process involving learning and experimentation. As the climate changes and we have a better understanding of impacts, it will be necessary to adjust our management approaches or to try new approaches. It will not work to simply do an adaptation project once and then move on. Adaptation is also highly context specific. This means that problems and solutions will vary between places. The effectiveness of an adaptation approach will depend on not just the condition of the natural assets and how they are likely to be impacted by climate change, but also the values and interests of the community, their view of risk and preferences for different actions. The ongoing and context-specific nature of adaptation means that it must be part of the work of anyone who manages the natural environment.

This plan aims to embed climate change adaptation into natural environment management. As the first 5-year adaptation action plan for the natural environment system, it lays the foundation for how adaptation should be done. The actions in this plan focus on providing decision makers with tools to support flexible, adaptive and robust decision making in conditions of high uncertainty, rather than actions for specific locations, ecosystems or species.

This plan is intended to inform sector-specific plans and strategies, such as the Victorian Government’s Whole of Sector Bushfire Strategy and Victorian Waterway Management Strategy. It will complement the place-based Regional Adaptation Strategies and help guide other plans that implement on-ground adaptation actions.

This plan expands on, and reinforces directions identified in Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037, particularly the need to view conservation decisions through a climate change lens and the importance of taking an adaptive approach to management decisions that responds to the dynamic nature of climate change and other uncertainties.


This Plan includes short, medium and long term adaptation objectives for the Victorian Government.

Short-term objectives (to 2026)

By 2026 the natural environment sector has:

  • improved its understanding of climate change risks and vulnerabilities
  • created a framework to support climate-adapted decision making.

This will result in the sector being better able to:

  • prioritise adaptation actions and focus efforts
  • make decisions in the context of a changing climate and increased uncertainty
  • integrate climate change adaptation into existing and future policies and programs
  • support Traditional Owner outcomes and objectives related to climate adaptation.

Medium-term objectives (to 2031)

By 2031, the sector has a strong capacity to support the natural environment system’s ability to continue to adapt to the changing climate. This is so:

  • The natural environment system is better managed to enhance its resilience to current and future climate impacts so that Victoria's natural environment is healthy and biodiverse.
  • Traditional Owners are able to enact their right to self-determination so that they can heal Country with an understanding of future climate impacts.
  • The community is engaged in finding ways to manage risks to the natural environment system arising from climate change so that they can navigate trade-offs and make informed decisions in relation to the natural environment system. This will enable people to understand the future predictions of climate change, such as for snow cover, and make decisions about what their business, tourism industry, local community and the environment may look like in the future.

Long-term objectives (to 2050)

By 2050, the sector is continually adjusting to support the natural environment to adapt to the changing climate, so:

  • The natural environment is able to respond to the disruptions of climatic and other events. Changes to ecosystem services are anticipated and managed.
  • Aboriginal Victorians are able to heal Country and culture through the application of their knowledge and practice in the contemporary expression of living bio-cultural landscapes.
  • The natural environment continues to provide benefits to the Victorian community into the future.

Page last updated: 09/02/22