What is climate change adaptation?

Put simply adaptations are changes we can make now in our coastal communities, to our dwellings, infrastructure and coastal ecosystems that will lessen the impacts of sea level rise, storm erosion and flood events.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to adaptation for climate change. Adaptations may include:

  • Physical works to reduce hazards such as groynes, seawalls, dune management, sand replenishment, offshore breakwaters and/or surfing reefs and flood barriers
  • Restricting development in hazard areas or ensuring development in hazard areas can cope with the hazards
  • Modifying existing structures to make them less vulnerable to hazards such as the reconstruction of roads and other public infrastructure above flood levels
  • Emergency management and evacuation planning
  • Community education and information
  • Ongoing monitoring, analysis and review, to determine how risks are changing and when to respond
  • Additional data collection or studies to help make good choices about responses

The report recommends the identifying of adaptation triggers for existing development. These triggers will allow the community to respond to actual changes in sea level rise or erosion, rather than events forecast in the distant future, for example, height of frontal dunes or high ground water tables.

Council has no clear statutory obligation to protect established private property that becomes at risk from changed conditions, provided the original approval for development was consistent with the then prevailing Planning Scheme and that Scheme was prepared with due regard to the known circumstances at the time.

However, the IAClimate Change Impactsreport identifies a need to allow existing owners to re-evaluate their choices and to suffer minimal losses from changing conditions, as existing owners have not been aware of the increasing risk and are not in control of the causes of this risk.

In the long term it is appropriate that people who choose these areas and gain the benefits - even while knowing the long term risks - accept and pay the costs of managing the risks that they incur.

For these reasons, Council will consider an adaptation program over the coming 25 years, the setting of greenhouse gas reduction targets for the City, and to pursue funding opportunities for ongoing adaptation and protection projects in coastal communities.

At the end of this 25 year period, coastal property owners will be expected to bear more of the cost burden.

Clarence City Council
38 Bligh Street (PO Box 96)
Rosny Park, Tasmania 7018
Telephone:(03) 62 17 9500

Page URL: http://www.ccc.tas.gov.au/page.aspx?u=1547

Page last Reviewed: 2011-07-28T09:10:31