ANU researchers working with communities to prevent flooding with nature-based solutions

Photo: ANU ANU Researchers participating at community open day in Ipswich QLD 2023
29 January 2024

As Australia experiences more extreme flooding events, many communities are thinking about how to reduce the impacts of these floods without disrupting the ecology of their regions.  

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to flooding are approaches that aim to protect, sustainably manage and restore ecosystems to meet critical societal needs today while building positive long-term environmental and economic outcomes. 

An interdisciplinary team at ICEDS is working to develop National Guidelines for NbS for flood mitigation, funded by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). A key aspect of this project is working in partnership with local communities to develop viable solutions.  

Associate Professor Roslyn Prinsley, who is Head of Disaster Solutions at ICEDS and leads the project, stresses that “knowledge generated in partnership with the community and local government is more likely to be useful, more relevant to their needs and more suitable for take-up." 

The researchers are working with communities in flood-prone catchments around Australia to explore case studies of possible NbS interventions. Regular engagements throughout 2023 have included working with local councils, exchanging knowledge with community experts through Expert Panel discussions, hearing from interested community members through workshops and speaking to the broader community at local events.