NCCARF Newsletter - March 2017
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March 2017

In this issue:

Director's message

Professor Jean Palutikof, NCCARF Director

Most of you will know that NCCARF is located at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. And so, for the last couple of days, we have experienced the sting in the tail of Cyclone Debbie, with gale force winds and huge amounts of rain washing through South-East Queensland – 520mm at my house in Worongary in a 30-hour period and I’m sure many of my colleagues will have seen worse.  All our staff are safe and dry, although some are cut off. Here’s a quote from an email received from one: “Murwillumbah is completely cut off. Flood levels surpassed the record flood in 1954. I am high and dry out of town but cut off from Murwillumbah and from Currumbin. I checked out Tomewin Road up the hill to Currumbin this morning and there are lots of trees across the road and landslides and it is not safe to go all the way yet, especially because winds are picking up now. Wish I could be in town and help with clean-up but that will have to wait anyway until the water recedes.

In the next few months the climate scientists will be able to tell us whether there’s any contribution to the severity of this event from global warming. In the meantime, we just have to adapt!

CoastAdapt: learning from test cases

To test CoastAdapt in real-life adaptation decision-making situations, to learn more about how users are working with CoastAdapt, and to build capacity among users, NCCARF is running a series of test cases. We want to know how coastal decision makers across a wide range of sectors engage with the different components in CoastAdapt, to understand how successful CoastAdapt is at meeting their requirements, and to learn about any useful changes that can be made.
The first round of test cases in late 2016 involved aquaculture company TASSAL, North Queensland Airports (see image), Warrnambool City Council, District Council of Robe and Far North Queensland Aboriginal Shire Councils Yarrabah, Hopevale and Wujal Wujal. These demonstrated clearly the capacity of address practitioner needs.

A second round of test cases is now underway, based at Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters, Summerland Credit Union, Cairns Regional Council, Noosa Council, and the Peron Naturaliste Partnership. Descriptions of the  test cases will be available in CoastAdapt from 1st May as short case study reports.

Adaptation research webinars 

Throughout March, April and May, NCCARF will explore some key climate adaptation topics in a series of webinars. Each webinar will feature two experts, and provide an opportunity for you, the viewer, to ask questions and join the discussion online. Our first webinar was held last week and featured Dr Scott Power (Bureau of Meteorology) and Dr Matthew Mason (University of Queensland) talking about extreme climate events, future risks and impacts, with viewers tuning in from all over Australia and the world. If you missed this first webinar, you can view a recording here. You can join us at one or all of the webinars by registering through Eventbrite.
In April and May we talk about:
Trade, aid and tourism under climate change (19 April 1-2pm AEST)
With speakers: Professor Jon Barnett (University of Melbourne) and Ms Cheryl Durrant (Department of Defence) More info…

Urban Adaptation: cities adapting to climate change (3 May 2-3pm AEST)
With speakers: Professor Barbara Norman (University of Canberra) and Assoc. Professor Ron Cox (University of NSW) More info…

Natural ecosystems: from land to sea (22 May 1-2pm AEST)
With speakers: Professor Stephen Williams (James Cook University) and Professor Terry Hughes (James Cook University) More info…

Practical Knowledge in Adaptation: Regional seminars 

NCCARF is taking its adaptation research synthesis program on the road with a series of regional seminars to share and test our Practical Knowledge in Adaptation publications. Friday 17 March we visited the NSW town of Wagga Wagga and met with practitioners and community to discuss adaptation challenges and solutions in the region. Next week we will be in Shepparton, Victoria (3 April, 12.30-2.30pm) and Mount Gambier, South Australia. (5 April, 12.30-2.30pm) and in following weeks Narrogin (Western Australia) and Toowomba (Queensland). If you are interested in attending any of these seminars, please email
Register for CoastAdapt training

Over the next two months NCCARF will roll out a program to train interested users in aspects of CoastAdapt.  While designed to be easily accessible and intuitive for users, CoastAdapt has some components where users may benefit from additional support. The training is aimed at providing more insight and hands-on experience with using the C-CADS Framework, the risk assessment guidance, and in engagement and communication. Dates and venues of workshops will be available on the NCCARF website in coming weeks. For more information about the workshops contact Dave Rissik  or to register your interest contact Marilee Campbell 

From risk to return - investing to adapt

NCCARF has worked with the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) and Zsuzsa Banhalmi-Zakar from James Cook University to produce a report to help the investor sector become involved in financing climate change adaptation. The investor sector has funds of up to $1.2 trillion and has the potential to make a significant contribution to the implementation of adaptation actions. The report is based on empirical research as well as extensive consultation with a range of adaptation stakeholders, including investors, banks, insurance industry and all levels of government. Adaptation is typically regarded as a local government responsibility and there is a lack of engagement between institutional investors and local governments in Australia. The report discusses barriers to investing in climate change adaptation and outlines potential solutions for increasing investment in adaptation. The report can be accessed from

Events and opportunities from the National Adaptation Networks



Natural Ecosystems Network

The Natural Ecosystems network will host a workshop with NARP authors and other experts in Canberra on 3-5 April to discuss cross-cutting themes across the recently updated ecosystem NARPs— Marine Biodiversity and Resources, Freshwater Ecosystems and Biodiversity and Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biodiversity. 

Later this month the NE Network will announce the successful applicants from their recent call for workshops and case studies.  Look out (or sign up) for the Network’s newsletter next week which will feature new research for the Wet Tropics bioregion, looking at how we can optimise conservation so that it accounts for current and future biodiversity and maximises carbon sequestration and storage. Contact Nadiah Roslan for more information.

Settlements and Infrastructure Network

Eighteen early career researchers and practitioners from around Australia came together in Sydney last month for ACCARNSI’s 13th Early Career Researcher Workshop and Forum. The Forum showcased current research in settlements and infrastructure climate adaptation spanning coastal management reforms and planning instruments, Pacific responses to adapting to sea level rise, energy infrastructure, the challenges faced by regional Australia in adapting infrastructure and livelihoods, and what a 2 degree rise in temperature may look like. Thank you to guest speakers from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Climate KIC Australia and the UNSW Water Research Laboratory who shared their climate adaptation stories and expertise with the group and also to ACCARNSI Network Advisory Panel member, Dorean Erhart from the Local Government Association Queensland.
ACCARNSI’s also held an Infrastructure Adaptation Panel workshop in Sydney on 17 February. Twenty-eight representatives from government and industry across a broad spectrum of infrastructure sectors including transport, water, energy, telecommunications, finance, defence, professional bodies and consultancies discussed the challenges of coordinating organisational and sectorial adaptation responses to the increasing number of extreme weather related events and their impacts. If you are interested in contributing to this project please email ACCARNSI at


Social, Economic and Institutional Dimensions Network

The SEI network continues to keep members informed with its informative monthly newsletters. The March edition is due for release and you can expect to find news about the latest developments in the social, economic and institutional dimensions of climate change adaptation along with resources, events, jobs, scholarships and fellowships. The SEI network also welcomes contributions and membership is free. To sign up click HERE. For more information contact Sarah Connor.

Vulnerable Communities Network

NCCARF’s Vulnerable Communities Network (VCN) has two activities planned. Contact Scott Hanson-Easey to find out more about these events.

Under the weather
In collaboration with The Hutt St Centre, a homelessness support service in Adelaide, and Central Queensland University, VCN is supporting socially vulnerable people to learn photography skills, encouraging them to capture pictures that express what climate change means for them. A photography competition and exhibition in May – Under the Weather will showcase participants’ work and give a voice to those who are most vulnerable to the extremes of climate change related weather events. The exhibition will raise awareness of the ‘lived experience’ of homelessness and disadvantage in the context of a changing climate.

The Extreme heat, health, and socio-economic disadvantage forum will be hosted by the VCN in Perth on 3 May 2017. This forum brings together community service practitioners, researchers, advocates and policy-makers to develop thinking on the interactions between climate change driven extreme heat, social disadvantage, and risk to health. Working with WA health and the WA Council of Social Service (WACOSS), the forum will develop a set of policy recommendations that can enhance resilience in, and adaptation capacity of, socially vulnerable communities. 
For more information about the Adaptation Networks see the NCCARF website:

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Contact NCCARF

Jean Palutikof

Sarah Boulter
Senior 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
National Climate Change
Adaptation Research Facility
Griffith University Gold Coast Campus
Qld Australia 4222
Tel: 07 5552 9333
Fax: 07 5552 7333
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.
Copyright © 2013 NCCARF, All rights reserved.

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