NCCARF Newsletter - March 2016
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NCCARF Newsletter

March 2016

In this issue


Director's message

Professor Jean Palutikof, NCCARF Director

Our record-breaking weather

The three months since our last newsletter have been marked by a series of record-breaking high temperatures. Just a few are:
These record high temperatures happen because of a combination of global warming and a strong El Niño.  In a few months, as the El Niño dies away, conditions will return closer to normal. But the next time there is an El Niño, in maybe two, five or even seven years time, temperatures will rise again and, because of the effects of global warming, will most likely be even hotter - new records will be set.

This is how climate change will happen, incrementally, a few steps up and a few steps back, but always on an upward trajectory.  Almost too gradually for us to notice until we see, perhaps too late, the effects on our natural environment.  Organisations such as NCCARF are working to prepare Australia for the inevitable impacts of climate change, but our work must go hand in hand with actions now to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. 

CoastAdapt comes alive on 1 April with an online forum

Stakeholder consultation for CoastAdapt told us that coastal managers want to network with peers and share learning and experiences around coastal adaptation. Known as CoastExchange, the online forum of CoastAdapt is your opportunity to do just that.

Opening for chat on 1 April, CoastExchange will support all adaptation practitioners and researchers, providing opportunities to network, spread the news of successes, ask questions and build a community of adaptors.

This will be a moderated Forum, and NCCARF will be an active participant. We will provide news items, monthly discussion topics, drop-in conversations with adaptation experts, quizzes, competitions and games. CoastExchange needs your participation to succeed.  

Sign up to find out what others are doing and share your experiences. You can register at from 31 March and the forum will be live from 1 April.

And thanks to James Duggie from WA who provided the name - your prize is in the post!

CoastAdapt: to be useful it must be accessible

Experts from around Australia and abroad are involved in writing and reviewing specialist content for the tool. To ensure that the material is accessible we also have end users involved in reviewing material for its relevance and accessibility. 

To support ease of access to content most documents are being pitched at three levels:
  • a 'one-liner' which provides a quick intro to the content aimed at time poor, senior executive decision makers (we call this the 'skimmer' section)
  • a short simple overview of the document which provides the most important points contained in the document (we call this the 'wader' section)
  • more detailed information including figures and tables explaining concepts and approaches, aimed at practitioners who need this information to help them with their work (we call this the 'diver' section).
We are also investing significantly in the design and navigability of the tool to ensure that users have a good experience on the site and can access the information they need, when they need it, and importantly, can begin where they left off on their previous visits.

C-CADS - a risk-based process

While users can search for information under topics that they need, we will also provide guidance on following an adaptation process. C-CADS (Coastal Climate Adaptation Decision Support) takes users through a risk based, adaptive process that is consistent with global best practice. The guidance provides links to relevant information, case studies and other information housed in CoastAdapt.

An important component of the Tool is the focus on helping users to overcome barriers to adaptation. We provide information and guidance on:
  • effective communication and engagement
  • building a business case for adaptation
  • getting organisational buy in and support
  • financing adaptation 
  • monitoring and evaluation.
We look forward to releasing a beta version of the Tool in August 2016, and receiving feedback from a broad range of users.  We will then be able to fine tune CoastAdapt before a release of the final version in 2017.  

We are always looking for opportunities to talk to groups around Australia about CoastAdapt. For further information please contact Dave Rissik

Synthesising knowledge for adaptation

NCCARF’s Synthesis Program is in full swing  with a series of workshops completed. The program is designed to make existing adaptation research information relevant to decision makers, policy makers and practitioners. 

NCCARF Adaptation Synthesis Summaries

These short documents bring together key findings from the research carried out in the first phase of NCCARF. We have designed them to consider current adaptation policy challenges and how this research knowledge might help inform decision-making and planning. The first six summaries will be available in June and will look at:
  1. Heat and heatwaves
  2. Bushfires
  3. Floods
  4. Cyclones
  5. Community resilience and vulnerability
  6. Ecosystems
In building these summaries we held workshops in Mackay, Adelaide, Cardinia (Victoria), Hobart, Brisbane and Canberra. Stakeholders have helped identify key adaptation challenges and shape the final summaries.

Policy Guidance Briefs

We have kicked off a second series of our Policy Guidance Briefs with workshops in Townsville, Darwin, Adelaide, Dubbo and Cairns now completed. There will five Policy Guidance briefs available in June:
  1. Climate-adapted Northern Australia development
  2. Sustainable rural communities under climate change
  3. Climate-ready cities
  4. Climate change and the Great Barrier Reef
  5. Towards a climate-adapted trade and aid strategy for Australia.
Participants at the Policy Guidance Brief workshop on 'Climate-ready cities' held in Adelaide 

Antarctic explorer Tim Jarvis to close the conference

Antarctic explorer Tim Jarvis - who is also an environment scientist, author and promoter of action on climate change  - will join an impressive line up of local and international keynote speakers at the NCCARF and CSIRO Climate Adaptation conference in July.

Global ambassador for WWF Australia, Tim is the founder and leader of 25zero, a campaign to raise awareness of climate change by focusing on the world’s rapidly disappearing equatorial glaciers.

Take a peek at the provisional program which includes the keynote plenaries as well as satellite events before and after the conference. Satellite events include an early career workshop for graduate students as well as early career practitioners (4 July); a vulnerable communities master class with US health expert Kris Ebi (8 July); and a workshop on climate resilient water sources (8 July). 

Currently our reviewers are assessing almost 300 abstracts to develop a diverse mix of presentations, speed talks, panels, and posters which will provide the basis for lively discussion between researchers, practitioners and policy- and decision-makers. 
Earlybird registration closes on 22 April - register at

News from the National Adaptation Networks

Our National Adaptation Networks are communities of researchers and practitioners that connect around themes important to adaptation to build capacity and progress climate change adaptation knowledge. Here is what they have been doing lately...

Where species live in a changing climate
Natural Ecosystems Network

The Natural Ecosystems Network was a cohost of the Species on the Move conference in Hobart in February. The event discussed the move into the anthropocene and the need to understand what drives species distributions across ecosystems as well as to address the fundamental tenet of ecology: what lives where and why?  The well attended public forum was highly successful - watch here

Currently the NE Network is finalising three draft NARPs - National Adaptation Research Plans - on marine, terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity which will be available for review and consultation from May-June via the NCCARF website.

To receive updates  and details of the Natural Ecosystems Network's activities - register

Early career workshop goes to parliament
Settlements and Infrastructure Network

ACCARNSI recently hosted an Early Career event with partner, the University of Canberra in February which included a trip to Parliament House for the participants from ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.  Guest speakers included Professors Will Steffen and Barbara Norman and Katie Eberle, Director Climate Adaptation from the Commonwealth Department of Environment. Read more here or for more information about the early career presentations at the workshop see the proceedings 
For more ACCARNSI News go to
NGOs share adaptation ideas
Social, Economic and Institutional Dimensions Network

The SEID Network held a workshop in Sydney earlier this month with some of Australia’s most prominent non-government organisations (NGOs) to share knowledge and insights into how we can adapt to climate change. The ‘think tank’ workshop also aimed to build a platform for continued collaboration amongst the network and the NGOs. 

Explaining the rationale for the workhop, NGO Theme Leader Assoc. Prof Dana Thomsen said “we recognise that many NGOs have substantial experience and are already assisting communities affected by climate change. We really wanted to organise a workshop which could help share lessons amongst these groups so we could learn of their successes and challenges as well as explore strategies for climate change adaptation”. 
For more information about SEID network events sign up to the newsletter

Apply for vulnerable communities masterclass
Vulnerable Communities Network

The Vulnerable Communities Network (VCN) will hold a masterclass as a satellite workshop after the NCCARF CSIRO Climate Adaptation conference in Adelaide.  For more information or to apply for a early career travel award to attend, check here

During 2016, the network will also host a ‘roadshow’ of workshops with the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) in each state for practitioners and researchers. To find out details of a workshop in your state - or to find out more about vulnerability to climate change, subscribe here

The Network now has over 130 members drawn from a diverse range of sectors including, business, research, the community services, NGO, and local and State government. 
We would be delighted if you forward this email to any colleagues who may be interested.
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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.
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