The Local SDGs Project: Pathways towards future-proofing Australian communities

by Deakin University

(Academia)

A Global Compact member

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Charting pathways towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in local communities.

Project implemented: January 2019

Project goal

To develop robust sustainable pathways towards future-proofing Australian communities and enabling people and nature to thrive.

delivering on

why is this project important?

This project will aid Australian rural areas in mitigating the threat of bush-fires, droughts and financial and biodiversity loss.

Key steps to make it happen

1Contextual Analysis

Evaluate literature to establish knowledge of existing local sustainability issues and pathways in Australian communities.

2Forrest Case Study

Develop local sustainability pathways for Forrest to increase its capacity to manage climate change, bush-fires and tourism.

3Goulburn Case Study

Develop local sustainability pathways for Goulburn to increase resilience to water variability and adopt new technologies.

4Outcome

Our aim is to go beyond our case studies and develop a framework that will be applicable across rural/regional Australia.

We have run or participated in 8 workshops or regional meetings, which have raised awareness about the SDGs among stakeholders and facilitated a shared understanding of the project objectives. The attendance at local and international conferences and the launch of our own website and other social media platforms are also broadening the reach of our project.

The Local SDGs Project is a Deakin University initiative in collaboration with the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and funded through the Ian Potter Foundation. We are developing robust pathways towards future-proofing Australian communities and enabling people and nature to thrive.

We will undertake comprehensive case studies using mixed qualitative (participatory) and quantitative (modelling) methods to assess options for improving multiple socio-economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability for two regional Australian communities, each facing unique challenges.

Our Forrest/Otways (South-West Victoria) case study involves a region which has acknowledged its susceptibility to the environmental and socio-economic effects of climate change. This is a community in transition and is striving to attain a sustainable and resilient future in the midst of increasing fire threats and water shortages. It is imperative to protect the Forrest/Otways unique rainforest ecosystems, agriculture and tourism. The Goulburn Murray region (North-Central Victoria), in contrast, is a great distance from the coast and reliant on the Murray Darling Basin. This case study focuses on the environmental and economic pressures facing the Irrigation, Dairy and Food Production industries.

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