1.   Sustainable Development & Climate Change Adaptation

Christopher Auricht’s experience in developing and implementing programs related to the adoption of sustainable land management practices dates back to the early 1980’s where he developed and coordinated a variety of rangeland rehabilitation and soil conservation/catchment management projects in South Australia. Chris’s expertise and corporate knowledge in community based land management processes saw him seconded to the National Soil Conservation Program (NSCP) in 1985 where he provided strategic advice and expert knowledge to the program, especially as it related to foundational activities and the formation of national policy associated with the Australian Governments engagement in community based land management activities (and what became Landcare).

Between 1987 and 2004 as an international development consultant Chris worked on a numerous large and small-scale national and international projects within the sustainable development sector including the Joint FAO-World Bank Global Farming Systems Study along with catchment management, Land Use Planning and Administration and other development orientated projects in over thirty countries spanning the Middle-east, Asia, Africa, Caribbean and Pacific region.

More recently Auricht Projects has led the spatial element associated with the identification, delineation and attribution/characterisation Farming Systems within Africa for the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) as part of a major multi-agency initiative aimed at developing policy and program level interventions to reduce poverty and increasing the adoption of sustainable land management practices in Africa within the context of changing climatic conditions. See for example from 2017 A farming system framework for investment planning and priority setting in Ethiopia and 2014 Atlas of African Agriculture Research and Development.

2.   Business Requirements, Needs Assessment and User Reviews

Agricultural Intelligence Transformation Project – Between November 2015 and July 2017 as a consultant Senior Business Analyst Christopher Auricht provided strategic and technical input to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources AITP Project aimed at delivering improved intelligence and insight based on modernising processes and infrastructure. Involved developing innovative strategic and technical solutions, interfacing between the Business (Stakeholders) and the Information Services Division, identification of business processes, requirements definition/prioritisation, plus data migration and management, governance, and software and IT infrastructure solutions for improved data collection, storage and management, analysis and reporting.

User Review of the Australian Natural Resources Atlas and Data Library – undertaken for the former National Land & Water Resources Audit involved development of a framework to assess user satisfaction based on a combination of an on-line web based survey, focus sessions and extensive consultation with state and territory stakeholders to formulate recommendations. Refer: http://lwa.gov.au/products/er040794

Australian Soil Resource Information System (ASRIS)/Australian Collaborative Land Evaluation Program User Needs Analysis – Commissioned by ACLEP Auricht Projects (Christopher Auricht and Blair Wood) undertook a user needs analysis and developed recommendations to provide direction for the future development of national soil data products tailored to both 1) meet specific user requirements, and 2) be applicable to a broad range of soil data users. Refer: http://www.clw.csiro.au/aclep/documents/ASRIS_User_Analysis.pdf

End-user needs for developing a national information system for weeds – Between 2007 and 2009 Christopher Auricht and Graham Yapp undertook an assessment of user needs for a national information system for weeds and an assessment of BioSIRT’s ability to satisfy users requirements. Involved scoping and developing a framework for assessing the needs of the diverse range of potential end-users of a national information system for weeds. Refer: http://lwa.gov.au/projects/3538

Review of the Natural Resources Information Management Toolkit Users Experiences – undertaken for the former National Land & Water Resources Audit. Involved  review of the current level of use and satisfaction, and development of recommendations for improvements and additions for development of Toolkit version 2.

3.   Project and Program Level Review

Review of the Weeds of National Significance – Commissioned by DoA Christopher Auricht, along with Joe Walker and Graham Yapp (in association with Beaten Track Pty Ltd) undertook a program level review of the $20 Mil Australian Government Investment in the Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) program. Involved development and implementation of review framework, plus options definition and recommendations related to the actual listing process for Weeds of National Significance, and for adding and removing weeds for the list.

Review of the ACLEP Program – Commissioned by DoA in 2013 Christopher Auricht and Blair Wood undertook a Review of the Australian Collaborative Land Evaluation Program (ACLEP) 2009-2013. Involved development and implementation of performance assessment framework, assessment of return on investment, review of governance and project level activities, plus development of recommendations for program improvement.

Review of the Queensland Regional Group Collective Spatial Information Project – Commissioned by the QLD Regional Group Collective involved a review of the Spatial Information Project and development of a Spatial Data Strategic Plan for 2008-2010: A state-wide framework for providing spatial data and services in support of improved delivery of natural resource management programs in Queensland. This project went on to win the QLD Spatial Sciences Institute Award for Excellence in the People and Community Category, plus the Overall State-wide Excellence Award.

Review of the Australian Natural Resources Data Library – Commissioned by the former Bureau of Rural Sciences, Christopher Auricht undertook a review of Australian Natural Resources Data Library (ANRDL). Involved assessment of long-term capacity of the ANRDL to deliver data and metadata to users, including policy makers and regional bodies and a review of the BRS’s proposed work plan to determine whether its implementation will enable the long-term requirements of the ANRDL to be fulfilled.

Review of the current status of data and information with FAO – Strategic level review of cross-departmental themes related to spatial information management, identification of linkages, gap analysis, options definition, and development of recommendations for improved efficiency and effectiveness of program delivery.

Review of the Establishment of a Land Management Database for the Republic of Maldives – Undertaken in 2008 involved a technical review of the conceptual model and associated database, plus review of a user interface for data input, querying and reporting.

Coastal Environments and Critical Aquatic Habitats MERI Plan Review – In association with ACIL Tasman (now ACIL ALLEN Consulting) involved review of existing situation and development of a revised scope and approach for the MERI Theme Plan. Involved a systematic analysis of requirements, data sources and options definition/recommendations for improved efficiency and effectiveness.

Evaluation of the NSW Government State of Catchment Online Reporting Tool – Undertaken by Chris Auricht involved the provision of strategic advice plus review of thematic indicators and spatial datasets and their ability to report on condition and trend.

Review of Wetland Mapping and Wetland Inventory, Information and Standards & Protocols – Undertaken for Land & Water Australia (LWA) and Australian Government Department of the Environment involved review of existing mapping and wetland inventory activities and information standards and protocols. The results of this work were published in the NLWRA publication, ‘Wetlands (Inland Aquatic Ecosystems)- Status of information for reporting against indicators under the National Natural Resource Management Monitoring and Evaluation Framework’. Refer: http://lwa.gov.au/products/pn22036

Review of the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) NRM Report Cards – Development of a four step review framework and subsequent assessment of current report cards against a model of best practice, and development of recommendations.

4.   Capacity Building

Natural Resources Information Toolkit Version 2.0 – The aim of the Toolkit was to assist in building capacity at regional and local levels to manage, utilise and share natural resources data and information more effectively. The Toolkit integrates a capability road map based on a five step maturity model enabling NRM groups to assess their current capability, identify what is needed to improve their capacity, and subsequently develop actions plans to enhance their current capability rating according to an indicative capability framework. Refer: http://lwa.gov.au/products/pn21205 and http://lwa.gov.au/products/pn21208

South Australian Water Asset Identification Project –  between 2012 and 2103 Christopher Auricht and Sarah Imgraben developed a collaborative engagement plan to transfer knowledge and build capacity at regional level to identify, characterise and assess the vulnerability of water assets to coal seam gas and large coal mining activities.

Review of the ACLEP Program – Commissioned by DoA, in 2013 Christopher Auricht and Blair Wood undertook a Review of the Australian Collaborative Land Evaluation Program (ACLEP) 2009-2013. Included development of an input to impact chain model incorporating three capacity benefit channels, and the rating of benefits and trends from improved skills and capacity, along with recommendations for improved capacity building via training and exposure to new technologies.

United Nations Development Program – Enhanced National Capacity for Disaster Mitigation and Preparedness, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – Commissioned by UNDP in 2006 Christopher Auricht undertook a review of existing programs and research activities within the DPRK related to the UNDP project ‘Enhanced National Capacity for Disaster Mitigation and Preparedness’. Involved review of existing activities and outcomes, and development of recommendations for capacity building in line with the needs of DPRK in disaster monitoring and improved natural resources management.

United Nations Development Program – Capacity Building, Research and Extension for Sustainable Forest and Rangeland Management Program, China – In 1998 Christopher Auricht undertook a review of the capacity building activities related to the ‘criteria and indicator’ component of the UNDP Capacity Building, Research and Extension Program and developed of recommendations for enhanced capacity building initiatives.

5.   Data Management and Information Systems

UN’s Global Land Degradation Assessment – Updating of the UN’s Global Land Degradation Assessment LADA. Involved collaboration with International Organisations to collect data and information on land degradation at regional and national scales, analysis of pressure indicators including livestock and human population, and investigation on the application of drought indicators using remote sensing datasets. Refer – Chapter 3: The Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA) project. Chapter 3 in ‘The Future of Drylands: International Conference on Desertification and Drylands Research, Tunisia, 19-21 June 2006’. UNESCO, Published by Springer 2008

Joint FAO-World Bank Rural Sector Strategy Review – Christopher Auricht led the spatial data team and undertook the analysis and development of information products for the Global Farming Systems study, the results of which are published in the (Dixon et al 2001 publication) Farming Systems and Poverty: Improving Farmers’ Livelihoods in a Changing World Refer: http://www.fao.org/farmingsystems/

FAO Country Profiles Information and Mapping System – Between 2001 and 2003 Christopher Auricht developed standards for database development, updating and maintenance of the UN’s pioneering Country Profiles data and information retrieval system. Provided advice on the use of GIS mapping software and alternatives for web mapping applications. Customised software for delivering spatial thematic data over the internet. Refer: www.fao.org/countryprofiles/

Principle Investigator – Joint Australian Weeds Committee and National Land & Water Resources Audit ‘National Weeds Work Plan’ 2005-2007. Auricht Projects provided the link between State, Territory and Australian Government Agencies related to the national work plan. Required high level coordination, facilitation and overview, plus a thorough understanding of issues related to NRM data and information collection and collation. Development of a nationally agreed database structure, standards and data quality rating system to enable the collection, collation and development of information products to satisfy reporting requirements under the Invasive Species theme within the National Monitoring & Evaluation Framework, NM&EF (the precursor to the current Australian Government Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement Framework, MERI). Refer: http://lwa.gov.au/products/pn21379

National Weed Observation Reporting Tool – Weed Watcher – Between 2009-11 Auricht Projects (in association with the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food) was engaged by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture to develop a portal to capture information on the distribution and abundance of major weed species in Australia – to be populated by members of the public and community groups with an interest in weed management. The information is intended to augment other data and information collected by various Government agencies and specialist research organisations in Australia to support management and reporting of significant weeds in Australia. Involved scoping, development and deployment of a web based spatial reporting tool. Refer: http://spatial.agric.wa.gov.au/weeds/

New Zealand Tile Based System for Reporting Weed Occurrence – Square Eyes – in 2013 Auricht Projects was engaged by AgResearch New Zealand to design, develop and deploy a national tile based online reporting tool to report weed occurrence for 183 weeds of significance. Application incorporates both administrator functionality to add/remove users and moderator functionality for administers to accept or reject changes. Individual users have the ability propose changes in occurrence and to tag comments and photographs to proposed changes. Refer: SquareEyes NZ Weed Occurrence

IBRA 7 Update – Between 2009 and 2012 Christopher Auricht, Joe Walker and Graham Yapp coordinated the development of the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) Ver 7 update. Involved extensive collaboration with State and Territory jurisdictions and the Australian Government, access and licensing agreements, development of improved attribution and naming convention standards, and establishment of data processing and quality control routines to merge existing State data and address cross-border edge matching issues. Refer IBRA 7 Update

6.   Indicators and Environmental Reporting

National Water Commission – Development of a ‘Conceptual Performance Measures Framework for the Murray Darling Basin Audit (Environmental, Water Quality and Salinity Objectives). In 2009 Christopher Auricht, Joe Walker and Graham Yapp developed a set of conceptual performance measures for assessing the uses and management of Basin resources. Collectively, the set of performance measures assisted the NWC to assess

  • whether the structures, processes and practices are in place to support the Basin Plan
  • the extent to which they are being implemented
  • whether they are achieving improvements against baselines.

The report developed a set of proposed performance measures supported by documentation of the evidence, assumptions and rational underpinning the proposed conceptual performance measures framework.

National Report Card Review and Concept Development – In 2004 Christopher Auricht undertook a review of existing national and international reporting frameworks and the development of recommendations and strategic directions for National, State and Regional Level reporting. The results of this work have been credited with providing the strategic directions for NRM reporting under the NLWRA initiative. Refer : Report Card and Attachments

NRM Estuarine, Coastal and Marine Report Card Best Practice – Commissioned by the National Land & Water Resources Audit in 2008. Involved review of existing online report card initiatives and developing and implementing a Workshop on NRM Estuarine, Coastal and Marine Report Card Best Practice. Refer: http://lwa.gov.au/products/pn21456

Evaluation of the NSW Government State of Catchment Online Reporting Tool – Undertaken by Chris Auricht involved the provision of strategic advice and review of thematic indicators and spatial datasets and their ability to report on condition and trend.

Review of the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) NRM Report Cards – Development of a four step review, assessment of current report cards against a model of best practice, and development of recommendations.

Principle Investigator – Joint Australian Weeds Committee and National Land & Water Resources Audit ‘National Weeds Work Plan’ 2005-2007. Auricht Projects provided the link between State, Territory and Australian Government Agencies. Involved development of protocols for reporting the Extent density and distribution of weeds, Impact of weeds on assets, and Extent of active management. Refer: http://lwa.gov.au/national-land-and-water-resources-audit/weeds

7.   Standards and Framework Development

Development of the Australian National Aquatic Ecosystem Classification ANAE – in 2008 Auricht Projects proposed the concept of the attribute based Australian National Aquatic Ecosystem Classification (ANAE) to the Australian Government and the Aquatic Ecosystems Task Group (AETG), the latter being established under the National Water Initiative to provide a nationally coordinated approach to policy development, and a national policy framework for the identification classification and management of high conservation value aquatic ecosystems. In the period 2008-2013 Auricht Projects led the development of all components of the ANAE involving extensive engagement with jurisdictions and technical experts. The outcomes of the Aquatic Ecosystems Framework and Classification development work, along with other contributions to the development of criteria to identify High Ecological Value Aquatic Ecosystems (HEVAE), are published in Modules 1, 2 and 3 of the Aquatic Ecosystems Toolkit. Refer
Module 1    Module 2     Module 3

Development of National Guidelines for the Delineation and Description of Aquatic Ecosystems – Between 2009 and 2011, Auricht Projects led the development of national delineation guidelines for aquatic ecosystems. This involved:

  • proposing the concept of a delineation guideline to the Australian Government (and Aquatic Ecosystem Task Group);
  • writing a discussion paper on a nationally consistent approach to the identification and delineation of aquatic ecosystems; and,
  • developing and testing the guideline

The outcomes of this work are available as Module 4 of the Aquatic Ecosystems Toolkit. Refer: Module 4

Development of National Standards and Protocols for Reporting Weeds – Christopher Auricht is currently a member of the Joint Australian Weeds Committee/Australia Vertebrate Pest Committees National Indicator Working Group. Since 2005 Auricht Projects has been closely involved development of protocols for reporting the extent density and distribution of weeds, Impact of weeds on assets, and Extent of active management. Refer: http://lwa.gov.au/national-land-and-water-resources-audit/weeds and http://lwa.gov.au/products/pn21379

Development of a standardised approach for the identification, delineation and characterisation of Farming Systems in Africa – Commencing in 2012 Auricht Projects has lead the spatial team responsible for guiding the identification, delineation, characterisation and analysis of Farming Systems in Africa. The results of this work has been presented at a number of international conferences Refer: AIFSC 2012 conference and is currently being extensively used in the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa – a Long Term Strategic Framework, as part of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA),  the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and various multi-national Climate Smart Agriculture programs. Involved a close working relationship with numerous leading international agriculture research institutions including FAO, the International Food Policy Research Institute, International Livestock Institute, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, and the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (now World Agroforestry Centre). See also from 2017 A farming system framework for investment planning and priority setting in Ethiopia and 2014  Atlas of African Agriculture Research and Development.