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Type: Journal article
Title: Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change on the South Australian coast: a coastal community perspective
Author: Button, C.
Harvey, N.
Citation: Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 2015; 139(1):38-56
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0372-1426
Statement of
Christopher Button & Nick Harvey
Abstract: Over the last 20 years the intergovernmental panel on climate change has produced a number of assessments on global climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. In 2009, the Australian government conducted its own assessment of climate change risks to the Australian coast. In South Australia, there has been progress in actions to address issues for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Of particular note are the South Australian policies on coast protection and new coastal development (1991), and coastal erosion, flooding and sea-level rise (1992). These state policies remain in place despite recent debate in the literature over global and regional rates and potential impacts of sea-level rise, which show sea-level rise is tracking at the upper end of projections. An increasing coastal population and a growing amount of coastal property and related infrastructure deemed ‘at risk’, is also creating pressure to review coastal policies nationwide. This paper presents an assessment of the vulnerability of the South Australian coast to the impacts of climate change from a biophysical perspective and incorporates primary research conducted into the public perceptions of risk, using data from sea change communities in regional South Australia. It investigates the social implications of, and potential for, adaptation beyond the existing policy framework. This paper argues that research into climate change-risk perceptions can offer insight into the development of more suitable adaptation policy at local and regional scales by considering the attitudes and perceptions of multiple and varied groups of coastal stakeholders. The paper concludes that perceptions of risk and opportunities for adaptation play an important role in the assessment of vulnerability, and are an important tool for informing policy decisions.
Keywords: climate change; adaptation; vulnerability; Australia; coastal communities
Rights: © 2015 Royal Society of South Australia
RMID: 0030038277
DOI: 10.1080/03721426.2015.1035216
Appears in Collections:Geography, Environment and Population publications

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