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An integrated approach to climate adaptation for estuaries

Howieson, J.R., Sarti, N., McHenry, M.P. and Katscherian, D. (2009) An integrated approach to climate adaptation for estuaries. In: Western Australian Climate Change Adaptation Symposium, 8 December, Murdoch University, Western Australia.


This talk will summarise the outcomes of a consultative initiative entitled: “Climate Change in South West Estuarine and Inland Fisheries: What are the Potential Impacts and are we ready for them?”

The objectives of the initiative were to:
• Raise understanding of how climate change will impact on the communities associated with South West estuarine and inland fisheries.
• Develop a set of agreed and collaborative strategies on how best to respond to these potential impacts.
• Report these strategies to relevant agencies/funding bodies/stakeholders.
• Develop a generic consultative methodology, which can be transferred to other primary production/regional sectors.

The methodology was based on the methodologies outlined in the National Greenhouse Office guide “Climate Change: Impacts and Risk Management: A Guide for Business and Government, and for Health Impact Assessment. In brief the project was conducted in three phases incorporating two half-day workshops and an internal risk assessment. The phases were

a. Phase 1: Workshop 1: Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Coping Capacity.
b. Phase 2: Internal risk assessment
c. Phase 3: Workshop 2: Verification of Risk Assessment of Adaptation strategies.

The presentation will summarise the projected impacts of climate change on SW estuarine and inland fisheries, results of a risk assessment of the identified impacts and the development of a set of adaptation strategies to assist the communities in adapting to the impacts. The adaptation strategies developed were in the areas of legislative/regulatory, research, infrastructure development, surveillance and monitoring, and communication and education. These adaptation strategies can be then be applied generically for planning climate change adaptation research and activity or applied as appropriate to specific systems to facilitate a local response.

The consultative methodology developed in this initiative can be modified for application to other primary production sectors or scenarios in developing climate change adaptation strategies.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
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