According To Farrer ... Government must face climate change reality

Our climate has and will continue to change. People's capacity to accommodate this new reality amazes me.

While many, including the Landscape Institute and its members, are all too aware of it, now even the media have made it mainstream by naming our storms in alphabetical order - we have had Desmond, Eva and most recently Frank. We will no doubt this year be subjected to Gertrude, Henry and Imogen.

So, while we are all accommodating our new reality, the Government does not. Our leaders continue to fail to deliver on what is one of their most important political responsibilities.

The overwhelming evidence shows that the consideration of the whole landscape of catchment areas, including how we farm and manage our landscapes as well as how we change our environment through development, holds the key to longer-term sustainable solutions for mitigation and resilience to climate change. Engineering and quick fix actions may get votes, but they cost more and simply will not do.

We now know through our greater understanding of the complexity of natural systems that we cannot go on ignoring them. We cannot continue to allow our blind faith in innovation and technology to get us through. We must recognise that not only in addressing the answer to flooding but in the future planning and designing of our towns and cities that we must give primacy to the consideration of working closely with our natural systems.

Only our natural and ecological systems can provide our food, grow our forests, accommodate our new housing and infrastructure and still deliver effective water management.

It is this complexity that must be reflected through the need for all our professions to think and work together. Natural systems are central - landscape architects, managers and ecologists should and must be central to the solutions.

Landscape Institute president Noel Farrer is a founding partner of Farrer huxley associates

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