Gippsland Climate Risk in Agriculture Conference

Climate change and what it means for farmers will be explored at a conference at the West Gippsland Arts Centre in Warragul on Thursday, 20th June.

The Gippsland Climate Risk in Agriculture 2019 Conference, presented by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA), will include expert presenters and panel discussions, covering topics from building farm resilience through to carbon farming opportunities.

One of the conference keynote talks will be delivered by Mark Howden, Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University.

Mr Howden helped develop both the national and international greenhouse gas inventories that are a fundamental part of the Paris Agreement. He is a Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and in 2007, won the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Al Gore and other IPCC participants.

WGCMA Chief Executive Officer, Martin Fuller, said this was a unique opportunity for local landholders to hear from experts in the field as well as share local experiences.

“We are extremely pleased that Mark Howden is addressing the conference, given his expertise in this area.

“Mark is a highly regarded global expert on climate science. This is an exciting opportunity for people to hear the latest science and how it relates to agriculture in our region.”

Other conference speakers include Sarah Barker, Special Counsel, Climate Change Risk at international law firm, Minter Ellison; Graeme Anderson, Climate Change Specialist with Agriculture Victoria; Richard Eckard, Professor and Dean of Research, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne; and Andrew Watkins, Manager of Climate Prediction Services, Bureau of Meteorology.

Mr Fuller said the conference aimed to help people understand climate change science, how climate change could impact farming in our region and how to mitigate risks to farm businesses.

“The impetus for the conference came from the Mardan Mirboo North Landcare Group, who approached us to put together a climate risk workshop for farmers. The idea grew from there.

“The presentations vary from big picture discussions on climate change, through to practical solutions and local experiences,” Mr Fuller explained.

“Sallie Jones, from Gippsland Jersey, will make a presentation on farmer wellbeing and the work her organisation has done on supporting the mental health of Gippsland farmers.

“Other sessions will examine the financial and insurance risks, carbon farming opportunities and farming practices to minimise the impact of drought.”

Local organisations are throwing their support behind the conference.

“A range of organisations are coming on board as sponsors, including Wellington Shire Council, Western Port Catchment Landcare Network, Agriculture Victoria, Food & Fibre Gippsland, Hort Innovation and National Vegetable Extension Network,” said Mr Fuller.

“We’d be happy to discuss conference sponsorship opportunities. Any interested parties should contact Sam Shannon, our Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator.”

The Gippsland Climate Risk in Agriculture 2019 Conference will run from 8.30am until 4.30pm at the Warragul Arts Centre on Thursday, 20th June. The conference program, including a full list of speakers and sessions will be available online in April.

Tickets to the event are $35 and can be booked online at

To find out more about the Conference, visit the Climate Risk in Agriculture 2019 Conference page on this website.

This project is supported by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Photo of Mark Howden
Mark Howden, Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University, is delivering one of the conference keynote speeches.