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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Climate Impacts and Adaptation in Western Port, Victoria

The Western Port Greenhouse Alliance in Victoria, Australia has released the outcomes of it's climate change assessment project that has been two years in the making.

From the WPGA website:

People, Property and PlaceImpacts of Climate Change on Human
Settlements in the Western Port Region: an Integrated Assessment

This project is one of a small number of climate change ‘integrated
assessment’ projects being conducted across Australia. The project builds on and
extends The Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in Western Port scoping study
(see elsewhere on this website), initiated in 2005 by the Western Port
Greenhouse Alliance (WPGA), a grouping of the five local governments that
surround Western Port in the region to the immediate south-east of the Melbourne
metropolitan area.

This scoping study established that climate change is an emerging issue
for the Western Port community and identified the need for more detailed
regional information on the potential impacts of climate change, as well as an
understanding of processes that could assist local decision-making on the

The project Impacts of Climate Change on Human Settlements in the
Western Port Region was conducted over two years and examined climate change
impacts on the region’s built environment and communities as well as local
adaptation responses to those impacts. It set out to improve understanding of
the scientific, economic and social impacts of climate change in the Western
Region in order to:

• enhance the capacity and knowledge of local
governments and other decision-makers in the region to prepare for and adapt to
climate change; and
• develop an approach to climate change assessment and
adaptation that has transferability to other regions in Australia.

The Western Port Climate Change Integrated Assessment project consisted
of four major phases:

1) projecting changes to key climate drivers and associated biophysical
impacts in the region. Changes examined included sea level rises, average and
extreme rainfall, storm surge, temperature and fire weather. Outputs of this
phase are provided in three biophysical impacts reports – see the links below if
you wish to see these. This phase of the project was largely completed by CSIRO.

2) examining the nature and extent of potential impacts to the region’s
built environment (land, housing and public and private infrastructure) as well
as an assessment of the social and economic implications of the impacts and the
vulnerability of different localities and groups. Marsden Jacob Associates (MJA)
conducted this phase of the project, with input from CSIRO.

3) identifying and developing a priority list of risks to local governments
associated with the impacts. A series of risk assessments, led by Broadleaf
International and involving upwards of 60 council staff, were undertaken with
each of the region’s local councils. These are now being considered within the
work programs of each local council.

4) adaptation options and barriers to effective response to the high
priority risks which will be explored with local councils, state government and
other key regional decision makers. Considering options and implementing actions
will also feature in the work programs of councils into the future.

Project Downloads
Executive Summary of the People, Property and Places report
Information Summary Table
People, Property and Places - Full report
General Biophysical Report
Rainfall Biophysical Report
Storm Surge Biophysical Report
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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