Research and Advice on Cross-Sector Climate Change Risks and Vulnerabilities

We provided expert advice to DELWP regarding a process to identify cross-sector climate change risks and vulnerabilities.

Under Victoria’s Climate Change Act (2017), seven sectors that have important influences on Victoria’s capacity to adapt to climate change must develop Adaptation Action Plans (AAPs) every five years.

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) suggests that the aim of a sector-based approach is to develop coordinated and coherent sectoral policy responses in anticipation of the complex challenges of adapting to climate change. Sectors must collaborate to address climate change risks and vulnerabilities, identify trade-offs, and realise potential opportunities. This presents many governance challenges, including spanning conventional boundaries and bringing together policy makers and stakeholders with different objectives, interests, and ways of working.

In this project we provided advice to DELWP and the AAP leads regarding the identification of and planning for cross-sector climate change risks and vulnerabilities. Our approach used concepts and methods from systems thinking, adaptive pathways planning, adaptive governance, and organisational learning theory. This produced:

  • A background research report on four topics and core questions defined by DELWP:
    • sector-based adaptation planning;
    • maladaptation;
    • risk and vulnerability assessments;
    • and monitoring and evaluation.
  • A framework to identify sector-based and cross-sector risks and vulnerabilities. The framework takes participants through a collaborative and learning-based process to understand their system and its interactions. It is intended for use both within government and in collaboration with stakeholders.

We expect that DELWP will make the framework and report publicly available this year.

Key People


Naomi Rubenstein
Associate Researcher