‘Climate Resilient Forests’ – Adaptation Pathways Pilot’ now underway

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Words by: Dr Claire Feniuk, CEC Conservation Project Manager, June 2024

Our ‘Climate Resilient Forests – Adaptation Pathways Pilot’ is now underway, marking an exciting partnership between the Conservation Ecology Centre, Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, and Forest Fire Management Victoria.

Focused on the foothill forests of the Otways, this project adopts a place-based approach to forest management planning. Its goal is to build connections between diverse stakeholders in order to grow and share knowledge, and explore, trial, and implement better ways of managing our local forests to improve their health and resilience in the face of a changing climate.

In May and June, we held the initial two workshops as part of our pilot series. These sessions brought together ecologists, Traditional Owners, land and catchment managers, and local community members to kickstart this important initiative. The workshops were held in Forrest – a small town that symbolises the changing history of forest management in southwest Victoria. Each workshop began with a forest walk, grounding discussions in the sights, sounds and smells of the surrounding foothill forests, before heading back to the Public Hall to begin developing ‘adaptation pathways’ to shape their future management.

A final pilot workshop will be held in the coming weeks, with the aim of developing an initial action plan to take this important work forward over the next 12 months.

For more information contact Claire Feniuk ( or Kay Weltz (