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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Prioritizing Coastal Adaptation Options

The Sydney Coastal Councils Group (Australia) has release multiple reports associated with its project, Prioritising Coastal Adaptation and Development Options for Local Government. The project developed information on the range of available adaptation strategies and provides guidance for Local Governments and asset managers, based on both NSW and Queensland case studies,  in how to implement feasible options. Specific delivverables from the project include a Literature Review of Adaptation to Climate Change in the Coastal Zone, which provides an overview of current approaches to adaptation, a GIS-based Multi-Criteria Analysis Framework to support consideration of diverse adaptation management alternatives around future protection, development, or redevelopment of coastal lands, and a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework to assess the impacts of coastal decisions.

Click here to learn more.

UK Downsizing Adaptation

Last week witnessed multiple stories in the UK press regarding the reduction in staff working on adaptation within the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). In response to a freedom of information request by Friends of the Earth, the agency confirmed that staff levels have fallen from a peak of 38 in the 2009/10 fiscal year to just 6 posts in the current year. According to the agency, "How we adapt to any impacts of climate change has been embedded into every policy team in Defra. Staff numbers on the adaptation team will therefore be reduced and the expertise moved to other parts of the Department." This trend seems to resemble what's been observed in Australia recently with the closure of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and the dismantling of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. If we believe that adaptation has in fact been so thoroughly mainstreamed throughout national governments that there's no longer utility in having stand-alone adaptation staff, then perhaps this is a sign of adaptation success. But does anyone really believe that?   

Monday, May 6, 2013

EU Adaptation Strategy

The European Commission has released the EU Strategy on Climate Change Adaptation. That strategy is comprised of a series of publications that include an EU climate change impact assessment, adaptation documents for specific sectors (e.g., coasts, environmental health, infrastructure), and guidelines for integrating consideration for adaptation into EU development policies and for developing adaptation plans in general.