Coast Adapt, Seminars, Networks, Conferences and more...
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August 2015


Director's message
Call for case studies
Climate adaptation 2016
Delegation from Vietnam
Coastal risk seminar
Network news

Director's message
Professor Jean Palutikof, NCCARF Director

This is a long newsletter, detailing the many activities being carried out by NCCARF and its Networks in support of Phase 2.  It makes fascinating reading, so I will not delay you - simply to say welcome, please enjoy reading about what we have achieved, where we stand and some future plans.

The main effort in NCCARF over the last few months has focussed on stakeholder engagement – understanding what our stakeholders want from Phase 2. It has involved trips throughout Australia, from Cairns to Hobart and from Perth to Melbourne via Port Lincoln.  And it will continue – I already have a date to present in Shepparton in September.  At the same time, our Adaptation Networks have been establishing themselves, and they plan workshops, seminars and newsletters over the next moths.  If you haven’t already signed up for one of more of the Networks, please consider doing so – scroll down to learn how.

I hope you will be planning to attend the NCCARF/CSIRO Climate Adaptation conference in Adelaide, July 2016 – there is news here about how we are progressing with arrangements.  Enjoy!Your text caption goes here. You can change the position and width of the caption from the block settings tab.

CoastAdapt:  supporting coastal decision making

NCCARF is developing a Tool to help coastal decision-makers in Australia understand and manage coastal climate risks - especially from sea-level rise and storm surge.  We have carried out extensive stakeholder engagement, including 12 face-to-face workshops and an on-line survey. On the basis of what we have learned, we are beginning to design and implement the Tool.

Reports available from the NCCARF website describe what we have achieved so far:
  • The Stakeholder Engagement Plan, laying out the NCCARF strategy for engagement
  • Analysis of End User Needs report, setting out what we have learned from our stakeholder engagement activities
  • State of Play Report, outlining where Australia stands at the present time in terms of climate change adaptation in the coastal zone – our jumping-off point;
  • The Development Plan should appear in August 2015, and describes NCCARF’s strategy and plans for developing the Tool.
In July, we identified 10 Tool Development Partners from around Australia. These are organizations that will work with NCCARF over the next 12 months to trial the Tool and provide feedback on our progress.  These are mainly local councils from all Australian states, as well as one business representative.

At the moment, we are scoping out a small number (six to eight) research projects that will contribute knowledge to the Tool.

The Tool will include:
  • information to support decision makers to learn about present and future climate;
  • information on understanding climate change impacts, so that users can assess their vulnerability and exposure to risk;
  • guidance to support coastal decision-makers in the management of climate risks;
  • an online community forum for users to share experiences and approach experts for advice;
  • case studies of adaptation – what works, what doesn’t, what may be the unintended consequences of action.
For further information, contact Dave Rissik at

A call for case studies: share your adaptation experience

A key part of the NCCARF Coastal Climate Risk Management Tool will be case studies of lessons learned from adaptation action. Your experience is needed to help NCCARF develop useful case studies that demonstrate good practice adaptation: what didn’t work so well, where the potential pitfalls lie (and how to avoid them!).

Throughout our consultation activities over the last few months, decision-makers have repeatedly emphasised the importance of case studies to capture and share real-world lessons. 

NCCARF has put out an open call for case studies until 4 September 2015. Please consider what you have learnt from taking action in the coastal zone - for example works to protect homes or infrastructure, to support ecosystems acting as a storm buffer, or great examples of community engagement - and let us know.

Information on how to submit a case study is on the NCCARF website ( We are keen to provide support you to document and illustrate a good case study. Prizes will be awarded for the best case study at the NCCARF/CSIRO Climate Adaptation Conference in July 2016.

Climate Adaptation Conference, 5-7 July 2016 Adelaide

The next Climate Adaptation Conference will be held from 5-7 July 2016 in Adelaide. Convened by NCCARF and CSIRO, the conference is the fifth in the conference series which began in 2010.
The NCCARF/CSIRO Climate Adaptation Conferences are the major Australian forums focused exclusively on climate impacts and adaptation. They bring together practitioners and researchers from across Australia to share experiences and showcase activities, strategies and research.

You can present at this conference, and we invite you to submit an abstract when we open for submissions in November.  There will be opportunities to make a presentation, display a poster and deliver a speedtalk.  The highly-successful and popular Early Career Workshop will take place on Day 0.

The conference will include plenary presentations by international and Australian experts in adaptation.  There will be a strong focus in the program on coastal communities, and the role of state and local governments, as well as business and industry, in ensuring the future prosperity and well-being of coastal residents in a world of changing risks. We have already secured a commitment from Prof Robert Nicholls (University of Southampton) as a plenary speaker.

To ensure you catch all the news, please register your interest on our new conference website:


Synthesising knowledge for adaptation action

In Phase 1 of NCCARF, we published over 150 technical reports - the output from investment in adaptation research by the Australian government of close to $30 million.  

Many reports were only delivered late in Phase 1, leaving little or no time to synthesise their findings into accessible formats.  Now, NCCARF has begun a project to re-visit these reports, as well as important published adaptation research that has appeared since Phase 1. We will extract and deliver key findings in readily accessible formats, providing policy and decision makers with ready access to the best evidence on which to base adaptation planning and implementation.

The first step of the synthesis program was to consult a range of stakeholders to determine their priority information needs, key policy questions, and preferred format of information delivery.  The main findings are presented in a report that will be available on the NCCARF website in August 2015.

Over the next nine months, NCCARF will hold a series of workshops around the country, as a basis for developing user-focused synthesis products.

If you are interested in taking part in the development of synthesis products please contact Sarah Boulter 


A showcase of adaptation for Vietnamese visitors

On 14 July, NCCARF put together a one-day adaptation workshop for a delegation of 20 Vietnamese government officials on a visit to Griffith University funded by DFAT.

The workshop featured presentations from NCCARF director Jean Palutikof, Jon Lane of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Dorean Erhart from the Local Government Association of Queensland, and Mara Bun from Green Cross Australia.

The day concluded with a well-attended public seminar on coastal risk, presented by professional staff from Townsville City Council—Chris Manning, TCC’s Strategic Sustainability Coordinator, and Wesley Bailey, TCC’s  Stormwater Drainage Engineer. They detailed the city’s on-ground and strategic planning responses to coastal hazards.  


News from the networks

NCCARF’s Adaptation Networks, hosted by universities across Australia, are a community of researchers and practitioners working together to progress climate change adaptation knowledge.  The networks have been re-established as part of NCCARF Phase 2 and are looking for new members. 

Settlements and infrastructure network stays with ACCARNSI

The Australian Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Settlements and Infrastructure (ACCARNSI) is one of four research networks confirmed by NCCARF as part of Phase 2.

ACCARNSI will focus on climate change adaptation for settlements and infrastructure. The host institution is the University of New South Wales (UNSW), together with partner universities Griffith University, the University of South Australia and the University of Canberra. These bring access to researcher expertise and capabilities in coastal management, planning and adaptation of infrastructure, and risk assessment and adaptation, in both urban and regional contexts.

ACCARNSI will support NCCARF in matters related specifically to coastal settlements and infrastructure including the development by NCCARF of a national Coastal  Climate Change Risk Management Tool, the review of the National Adaptation Research Plan (NARP) for Settlements and Infrastructure, synthesis and distribution of adaptation knowledge and stakeholder engagement.

The ACCARNSI Phase 2 program kicked off with the first of four National Early Career Researcher (ECR) Forums held at the Griffith University Gold Coast campus on 20-22 July.  Early career researchers and practitioners from Queensland, NSW, ACT and Victoria presented on topics ranging from local government climate change adaptation plans, beach erosion and coastal management to climate adaptation projects in the Pacific and South East Asia.  The program included the first of four NARP Workshops to help inform the review process.   There were guest presentations from NCCARF’s Dr Dave Rissik, the Griffith Climate Change Response Group’s Professor Brendan Mackey and Griffith Centre for Coastal Management’s Dr Darrell Strauss.  The Forum’s success was due to the tireless coordinating efforts of our partners at the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management.  We look forward to the next ECR which will be hosted by our partners at the University of Canberra on 15-17 February 2016.  The Call for Abstracts will go out in October.

To join the ACCARNSI Network Email list subscribe at


SEI hosted by University of the Sunshine Coast

The new host of NCCARF’s social, economic and institutional dimensions network (SEI Network) is the Sustainability Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).  The network has been tasked with exploring the social, economic and institutional dimensions of climate change adaptation and maintaining research and adaptation initiatives to increase the capacity to use this research. 

Partners include the University of Adelaide, University of Canberra, Murdoch University, Swinburne University of Technology and Girringun Aboriginal Corporation.  Each of the partners represents a number of fields of adaptation activity relevant to the aims of the network including: economics, business, social ecology, human geography, anthropology, adaptation planning, institutional analysis and education. 

Convened by USC SRC Director Professor Tim Smith, the network will develop online tools including a website focussed on the practical interpretation of research findings along with an informative e-list, e-newsletter and social media content. This will also help to enable interactions between researchers and stakeholders across the country.  

 “We will collaborate with knowledge providers and disseminating adaptation research findings to those who need it, particularly in coastal areas” said Tim. With the website under development, researchers and practitioners are encouraged to sign up to the e-list and e-newsletter where you will be able to: access up-to-date climate change information resources including tools which synthesize existing knowledge
  • participate and share valuable knowledge and experience with like-minded researchers and practitioners
  • link and promote your work nationally
  • access expert advice and find collaborative contacts relevant to you
  • Receive notification of various climate change adaptation initiatives, training, workshops, funding opportunities and conferences.
To become a member, send a blank email to   

New network on Vulnerable Communities hosted by University of Adelaide

NCCARF’s new Vulnerable Communities Network (VCN) is now underway, building connections amongst researchers, decision makers, and community service organisations who share a common interest in better understanding how socioeconomic factors lead to climate change vulnerability.

The Network will include consideration of human health. Its goal is to facilitate a coalition of stakeholders to learn from each other, with the aim of addressing the risk to vulnerable communities from climate change. The VCN is proudly hosted by the School of Public Health at the University of Adelaide, and is collaborating with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). 

Climate change will affect all population groups in all locations. However communities experiencing various forms of social exclusion will disproportionately bear the greatest impacts, including rise in the cost of living (e.g. water and food), increased exposure to extreme weather (because of low quality public and private rental housing), and associated threats to health. Climate change discriminates between communities in this fashion, ostensibly because adaptive capacity and resilience is dependent on access to financial, material and social resources –  current social conditions mean that the allocation of these resources are not shared equally.  

VCN Workshops
Over the next few months, VCN is conducting three workshops that will explore the complex causal factors implicated in social vulnerability to climate change. A workshop entitled, ‘Developing climate change adaptation with vulnerable communities’, will be held at the Population Health Congress 2015 in Hobart (6 September), and will feature talks and group discussions on topics such as vulnerability and rural communities, women, and older people.
In collaboration with ACOSS, two further workshops will be held in Perth and Melbourne for community service organisations working with vulnerable populations. Additionally, next year VCN will host a series of ‘roadshow’ workshops across the country focusing on key themes of vulnerability, including health, older populations, and social disadvantage.

The success of the Vulnerable Communities Network depends on its members. New members are warmly invited to join a growing group of passionate stakeholders, who receive priority updates on VCN’s activities, including workshops and other activities, such as the ‘early career researcher forum’ to be held alongside NCCARF’s 2016 national conference in Adelaide. Membership is free and you can sign up, or just find out more about the network, here:


Ecosystems network consolidates at James Cook University

James Cook University has begun hosting the National Adaptation Network for Natural Ecosystems. The Network is convened by Professor Stephen Williams from the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change (CTBCC) and is the amalgamation of three previous Adaptation Research Networks established during NCCARF Phase 1: Freshwater, Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity. 

Over the last three months the Network has established itself, and its activities are highlighted in the
first newsletter edition here. Significant undertakings over the next six months include the revision of three National Adaptation Research Plans, with meetings kicking off in September 2015. Climate change adaptation workshops will be held in 2016 that focus on biodiversity and the natural environment.  Network Convenor Steve Williams is also co-convenor of the Species on the Move Conference  in February 2016.

If you have any topics or training skills that you would like addressed at future Network activities, please forward them to or complete the Network’s short online registration form.

Stakeholder advisory groups for biodiversity sectors

The Natural Ecosystems Network is also developing Stakeholder Advisory Groups for each of its sectors (freshwater, marine and terrestrial biodiversity) and invites representatives across sectors, and Government to participate. The Stakeholder Advisory Groups will integrate a wealth of views into all Network activities and deliver guidance that will help decision-makers manage climate risks.
In this role, we would ask that Stakeholder Advisory Group members:
  • Provide advice in area of expertise to the Network’s activities
  • Review Revised National Adaptation Research Plans (2016)
  • Attend Steering Committee Meetings via teleconference and/or in person (one face to face meeting scheduled per year).
To submit your interest in becoming a member of the Natural Ecosystems Network’s Stakeholder Advisory Group, please visit here.

Conference - Species on the Move

The Species on the Move Scientific Committee invites you to submit an abstract that can contribute to discussions on understanding and responding to climate driven species redistribution.

The conference aims to deliver state-of-the-art analysis, inspiring visions and innovative research methods arising from the latest research in climate change ecology and adaptation in the associated human-systems.The international conference is being hosted in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia in February 2016, with Professor Camille Parmesan as the plenary speaker.

Authors are invited to submit abstracts of 250 words by 28 August 2015 via the presentation portal: Selected presentations and workshop outputs from the conference will have the opportunity to be considered for a virtual special issue of the journal Global Change Biology.

The Scientific Committee is keen to encourage participation by, and highlight excellent work from, students and early career researchers. We have a dedicated early career function for this group of researchers to have priority networking time with our keynote speakers, a ‘mentor matching’ opportunity people can elect to participate in, and we plan to select and feature several ‘up and coming’ researchers for ‘lightning plenary’ speaking slots.

There is also an exciting line up of social events including an informal Aussie BBQ at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and our end-of-conference dinner is at the world famous MONA museum, arriving by ferry and including a private showing of the museum.

We look forward to meeting you in Hobart in February!
Gretta Pecl (, on behalf of the Organising and Scientific Committees


‘Like’ to hear network news on Facebook

NCCARF’s four adaptation networks have joined forces on social media by developing a combined Facebook page to help communicate climate change research and adaptation information to their stakeholders.

Researchers, government, business, practitioners, community and other stakeholders can now access information from all of the networks via a single social media profile, ensuring they are kept up to date with the latest research and adaptation initiatives from across the four networks.

Coordinator of the social, economic, institutional dimensions (SEI) network Sarah Connor said the collaboration has been in response to shared interests by members across all the networks. “Network members can stay in touch with research and adaptation work across other networks that may also interest them as well as receiving up-to-date information from their own network,” explained Sarah.

Facebook posts will still be labelled according to their network and will include links to content both within and outside the network. The new Facebook page can be found at

Contact NCCARF

Jean Palutikof

Sarah Boulter
Research Fellow

Anne Leitch
Knowledge Communication

Steve Webb
Senior Programmer/Web Developer

David Rissik
Deputy Director General Manager

Jenny West
Business & Operations Manager

Fahim Tonmoy
Coastal Expert

Kylie Lindner
We would be delighted if you forward this email to any colleagues who may be interested.
For new subscriptions NCCARF newsletters please register your details through the NCCARF website:
National Climate Change
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The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility is supported through funding from the Australian Government.

The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained within.

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