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NCCARF Newsletter - October 2015
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NCCARF Newsletter

October 2015

In this issue

 

Director's message

Professor Jean Palutikof, NCCARF Director

This newsletter comes at a time when levels of excitement are building around the up-coming Paris meeting (COP 21).  The talk is all about which governments will commit to reducing emissions, by how much, and whether a new agreement can be put in place.  It is a well-known saying that we should hope for the best and prepare for the worst.  We all hope for the best in Paris – that governments will come to their senses and hammer out an agreement that will deliver cuts in emissions sufficient to avoid dangerous climate change.  But at the moment the commitments are only sufficient to limit warming to about 2.7°C above pre-industrial levels.  Even if governments kept their promises (and historical achievements should not fill us with optimism), these commitments are insufficient to avoid 2°C of warming, generally regarded as the threshold for dangerous climate change (see climateactiontracker.org).

So, in the spirit of preparing for the worst, adaptation is a vital weapon in the fight against climate change, and adaptation for Australia is the business of NCCARF.  In this latest issue of the newsletter, we highlight the work we are doing to support action by providing useful and accessible information to decision-makers, through CoastAdapt, our synthesis activities, the biennial conference organised jointly with CSIRO, and through our networks. I hope you enjoy – and that you visit our website at www.nccarf.edu.au to learn more about what we are doing.

Steady progress for CoastAdapt


NCCARF is preparing an information and decision support framework for coastal adaptation, called CoastAdapt.  Work on CoastAdapt is progressing well.  We have carried out extensive stakeholder consultation to understand what it should do, and how, and we have written a Development Plan which maps out the necessary steps to make it happen. We are now embarking on implementing the Plan.  

In the past three months we have:
  • named the framework Coast Adapt and designed the logo – see above
  • focussed on user experience testing and design of CoastAdapt: this will help users to access information in ways that make sense to them
  • set up and met with a Tool Development Partnership – nine local councils from around Australia and a peak body organisation – their role is to road test CoastAdapt
  • identified five research projects that will address key knowledge gaps in CoastAdapt.  Proposals have been reviewed by an independent panel and contracts are being negotiated. These applied projects will be completed in time for findings to be incorporated into CoastAdapt
  • worked on getting hold of the physical data on sea-level rise, storm surge and coastal geomorphology which are the foundations of CoastAdapt
  • continued to write content for CoastAdapt – we are writing material ourselves in NCCARF but have also hired in expertise
  • pinpointed case studies to be included in CoastAdapt to illustrate different aspects of coastal adaptation – something our stakeholders have identified as high on their wish list
  • identified peer reviewers who will help to ensure the technical validity and usability of the content we deliver
  • continued to liaise with potential end-users of CoastAdapt from around Australia.
For information on CoastAdapt contact Dave Rissik 

Synthesising knowledge for adaptation
 

A key component of NCCARF Phase 2 is the synthesis activity. This work is now well underway – we have received the green light from the Department of the Environment for our work plan and are now in the process of making it happen. There are four components:

Synthesis summary factsheets. These will be plain English summaries derived from the findings of the NCCARF Phase 1 research programs, together with recent literature. They will address adaptation topics identified as important during our stakeholder consultation – heatwaves and bushfires are amongst the topics to be covered. 

Targeted briefings. We will test the summary factsheets at workshops which will lead, first, to their revision and, second, to the production of targeted briefings on adaptation for specific user categories – planners and engineers, local government finance officers, community groups etc.

Improved web site search facility. Our consultation highlighted the obstacles our stakeholders face in discovering and accessing existing information on our website. The new online search catalogue uses topics, locality and keywords to improve the search function. This will go live on 15 November 2015.

Policy Guidance Briefs focussed on regional hotspots in adaptation and aimed at policymakers in state and federal government, but of interest to all. There will be five:
  • Rural mining and agricultural communities and their viability under climate change
  • Large urban centres
  • The tropical north and development of the Ord River Basin
  • The Great Barrier Reef and its ecosystem services
  • Australia in the international context: security, trade and aid.
For more information contact Sarah Boulter

Nominate a Climate Adaptation Champion for 2015-2016


Do you know people in your community, a company or a government organization who are finding practical and innovative ways to adapt to the impacts of climate change? If that’s the case, you should nominate a Champion!

Nominations are sought in each of four categories of Climate Adaptation Champion: Individual, Business, Community and Government. Champions in 2014 included: Mark Baker-Jones, Yalumba Wine Company, Resilient South Project and the Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership.

Champions will receive free registration and travel for the NCCARF/CSIRO Climate Adaptation Conference in Adelaide (5 – 7 July 2016), where the Champions will be announced and receive their awards.

Nominations close 4 March 2016.
You can nominate a Climate Adaptation Champion here.

Abstracts open for Climate Adaptation Conference 2016

Abstracts and conference registration both open on  
1 November 2015 for the NCCARF/CSIRO Climate Adaptation Conference to be held next 5-7 July at the Adelaide Convention Centre. 

Co-hosted by NCCARF and CSIRO, the conference will feature more than 250 presentations, together with side meetings, and social functions to bring together researchers, practitioners and policy- and decision-makers.

Abstract submissions are expected from researchers and practitioners across all adaptation sectors: from agriculture and natural resources, to human services sectors and finance, from urban to government to emergency services and more. 
 
To stimulate discussion around these themes, four international experts will continue the conference tradition of presenting lively plenaries detailing insights from different country contexts. These experts will talk on adaptation aspects of coasts, finance and vulnerable communities.  Check the conference website for a preview www.climate-adaptation.org.au.

To submit an abstract go to www.climate-adaptation.org.au after 1 November 2015.  We look forward to your submissions.  

News from the 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. For more information visit: www.nccarf.edu.au/content/adaptation-networks

Here is what they have been doing lately...

Natural Ecosystems Network

The Natural Ecosystems (NE) Network is planning outcome focussed, capacity-building activities for 2016. Some of these activities will be in the form of ECR&P (Early Career Researcher and Practitioner) science and skills-based workshops aimed at addressing key climate change challenges facing our natural world. The workshop events will be held in locations across the nation in 2016 and individuals are encouraged to register with the NE network to stay updated and put forward any key climate change adaptation issues and/or skills that they would like to see focussed in future NE Network activities.

Other undertakings by the Network include the second edition of the NE newsletter (download pdf here) and initial steps towards the revisions for three National Adaptation Research Plans (NARPs) for freshwater, marine and terrestrial biota. Over the next few months, the NE Network will continue to progress on NARPs, as well as recruit individuals to participate in the Network’s Stakeholder Advisory Groups. It is important that stakeholders have an influence in all network activities - if you are interested in providing your expertise in an advisory role for either freshwater, marine, terrestrial (or all!) NE network sectors, please visit here for more information.

Settlements and Infrastructure Network

ACCARNSI is working towards its next planned Early Career Researcher event being hosted by its partner, the University of Canberra in February next year.  Applications will open at the end of November.  A travel grant of up to $500 will be available to successful applicants to help with travel and accommodation expenses.  For more information email accarsni@unsw.edu.au.

Over the past few months, the ACCARNSI team has been very active with each of its four nodes undertaking capacity building projects, in the coastal, planning and infrastructure space, both nationally and internationally.  Researchers from the Coastal Planning, Management and Communities Node and the Coastal Settlements and Infrastructure Node attended the Australasian Coasts and Port Conference in Auckland to present their research on the potential role of non-government finance for coastal protection projects in Australia.  The team at Canberra Urban and Regional Futures who host the Urban and Regional Planning, Coastal and Urban Governance Node are currently leading a collaborative research project with the ACT Government Environment and Planning Directorate, exploring the revitalisation of commercial centres, and the retrofitting of older housing stock, for climate change adaptation and long term sustainability.

The latest paper by ACCARNSI’s Urban and Regional Infrastructure Node examines the potential impacts of a changing climate on regimes for road pavement management, using the case study of a north-south transect through rural South Australia, from Hawker in the Flinders Ranges to Goolwa at the Murray Mouth. The paper is part of a special issue of the journal Transport Policy on ‘Adaptation Strategies of Transportation Infrastructures to Climate Change’.

For more ACCARNSI News go to www.nccarf.edu.au/settlements-infrastructure/.
Social, Economic and Institutional Dimensions Network

The Social, Economic and Institutional Dimensions Network (SEID Network) continues its commitment to sharing practical climate change adaptation knowledge. 

Recently, the SEI Network has expanded the ‘research in practice’ and ‘resources’ pages on the SEI Network website. A new edition to the ‘resources’ page of the SEI website includes examples of climate change adaptation strategies developed by Local Government’s from around Australia. Examples from each State and Territory and varying population sizes with downloadable links can be accessed here https://www.nccarf.edu.au/social-economic-and-institutional-dimensions/resources.

The SEI network is currently developing sector-based snapshots from each of their themes; Government, Indigenous, Business & Industry and Governance Integration, highlighting the current developments in climate change adaptation, best practice examples and challenges. First to be featured is the Government Theme and the article can be accessed in their October newsletter https://www.nccarf.edu.au/social-economic-and-institutional-dimensions/newsletters.
 

Vulnerable Communities Network

The Vulnerable Communities Network (VCN) has been busy (jetsettting with carbon offsetting, of course!) participating in workshops organised by our partners, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). Over 40 participants from the community service sector, local government, NGOs, and researchers, attended workshops in Perth and Melbourne resulting in vibrant discussions on the impact of climate change on the community service sector and the people they work with. These workshops provided the Network with rich insight into the importance of, and challenges for, service provision to vulnerable communities in a context of climate change.


The Network also conducted a pre-conference workshop at the Population Health Congress recently held in Hobart. Researchers presentations included Dr Glenda Verrinder, Dr Debra Parkinson and Dr Margaret Loughnan. A lively panel discussion discussed how research could better provide a much needed evidence-base for the design and provision services to communities experiencing disadvantage. 
 
During 2016 we will be running a ‘roadshow’ series of workshops across the country for practitioners and researchers: details will be available early in 2016. 

The Network now has over 85 members drawn from a diverse range of sectors including, business, research, the community services, NGO, and local and State government. If you haven’t joined yet - or you know of someone with an interest in social vulnerability to climate change - see our webpage to subscribe: www.nccarf.edu.au/vulnerable-communities
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: www.nccarf.edu.au

Contact NCCARF



Jean Palutikof
Director
j.palutikof@griffith.edu.au


Sarah Boulter
Research Fellow
s.boulter@griffith.edu.au


Anne Leitch
Knowledge Communication
anne.leitch@griffith.edu.au

Steve Webb
Senior Programmer/Web Developer
s.webb@griffith.edu.au



David Rissik
Deputy Director General Manager
d.rissik@griffith.edu.au


Jenny West
Business & Operations Manager
jennifer.west@griffith.edu.au


Fahim Tonmoy
Coastal Expert
f.tonmoy@griffith.edu.au

Kylie Lindner
Administrator
k.lindner@griffith.edu.au
National Climate Change
Adaptation Research Facility
Griffith University Gold Coast Campus
Qld Australia 4222
Tel: 07 5552 9333
Fax: 07 5552 7333
www.nccarf.edu.au
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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