Climate change tool to help coastal communities prepare

More than 200 coastal councils across Australia will be able to better protect themselves against erosion and flooding threats with a new tool that provides them with almost everything they need to prepare for climate change impacts.

The beta version of a coastal climate risk management framework, CoastAdapt, was launched this weekin Melbourne by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) at a meeting withlocal, state and national leaders in coastal management.

CoastAdapt brings together a diverse range of information, maps, guidance, and Australian andinternational examples of coastal adaptation in three main sections:

– Current reliable information on all aspects of coastal management affected by climate changeincluding access to nationally consistent data sets.

– A decision support system known as C-CADS, which takes users through the steps to determinewhat response is necessary, the timing of actions, costs as well as how to monitor and evaluatethe results.

– An online forum for the community of adaptors where they can share problems, news and ideas.Coast councils can put their relevant area into the website and get detailed information on sea level risesand flooding threats until 2100.

Storm surge, king tidesanderosion


“Managing the coast is an important priority for Australia as we plan for the challenges associated withclimate change,” said Professor Jean Palutikof, director of NCCARF, based at Griffith University.

“Australia’s highly urbanised coastal zone already faces flooding risks from storm surge, king tides,beach erosion, and cyclones and these risks will only increase with projected climate change impacts ofmore intense storms and sea level rise.

“What sets CoastAdapt apart is its authoritative advice and guidance that has been developed withsustained and extensive stakeholder input.”

While CoastAdapt is based on the latest peer-reviewed science and has been extensively reviewed bytechnical and non-technical users, it is presented in an accessible style to make it easy to use, even forusers without a technical background.

In developing CoastAdapt, NCCARF incorporated input from about 700 coastal decision makers throughan extensive consultation process.

Nine local governments and one industry group have also been involved as tool development partners toprovide detailed feedback on both the structure and content of the tool.

Decision-makers are being given early access to the beta tool to provide feedback before it is finalised inFebruary 2017.

CoastAdapt is funded by the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy. For more information visit theNCCARF website.