Synopsis 5 – Frameworks, policy and regulation for climate change adaptation

Chair: James Duggie


Climate Change Adaptation Plans: Going Beyond the Bio Physical Impacts (941)

Lisette Collins 1

  1. University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
Climate change adaptation is a fast developing concern for local councils across Australia. Despite several sources of funding for the development of CCAPs (Local Adaptation Pathways Program, NCCARF grants etc.) there is no single database of the CCAPs that have been developed across the country so far. This paper presents the findings from a unique collation of publicly available Climate Change Adaptation Plans (CCAPs) in Australia. It develops a definition of ‘over-arching CCAPs’ and presents the emerging theory of the importance of considering the socio-political impacts of climate change. The CCAPs were collected from council websites of every council in Australia and then analysed in order to draw basic conclusions about where and when they were developed. It also categorises them as either ‘bio-physical impacts-based’ or additionally concerned with socio-political impacts of climate change adaptation. The paper identifies key socio-political areas of concern which CCAPs are highlighting: community cohesion, mental health, education about climate change, and pre-existing vulnerable groups.

Now is the time for National and International Climate Change Practitioner Certification (942)

Alastair Buchan 1 2 , Simon Cavendish 1 3 , Tom Davies 1 4

  1. EIANZ, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. NQ Dry Tropics, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  3. EnviroPartners, Brisbane , Queensland, Australia
  4. Edge Environment, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Society’s adaptation to a new reality is marked by creation of associated institutions and organisational processes to manage emerging issues. Accounting and Medicine have had administrative frameworks for centuries while Environmental and Computing management institutions have only matured in the last five decades. Climate change has generated significant public debate for 40 years. Yet, to date there are no industry standards determining the professional and ethical credentials of those engaged in managing climate change on behalf of society.

In 2014, after three years of development, the Environmental Institute of Australia and New Zealand has launched the world’s first Certified Practitioner scheme for Climate Change. The CEnvP (Climate Change Specialist) is one of four specialist areas of the EIANZ’s Certified Environmental Practitioner program. It accepts climate adaptation and mitigation practitioner applicants who have ten years professional experience, of which five or more are directly climate related. The scheme provides professional recognition to the individual and assures expertise, experience and integrity for those choosing to use a certified practitioner’s services. With two intakes annually applicants from any base profession or who work overseas are welcome to apply.

Media debates on the economic implications of climate action now influence election results at every level of government. Thousands of Australians are making a career of understanding climate science and its social, political, business and environmental management consequences. Launching the scheme now shows EIANZ’s leadership and marks global maturity of the industry. Learn more, make an application for, or encourage use of Certified Climate Practitioners.


Climate Change adaptation in Fiji: A Scenario of productivity and prosperity (943)

Aman Deo 1 2 , Syed Ghani 1 , Ramendra Prasad 1 , Dhrishna Charan 1

  1. University of Fiji, Saweni, Lautoka, Fiji
  2. The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Australia
The issues of changing climate are inevitable but the question arises whether we are reacting accordingly or not. So far deriving of policies, educating and aiding people in adapting to the changing environment are the norms. The environmental issues are complex, gaseous emission is still setting new records, industries have increased their capacities and so is the energy requirement in enhancing the productivity. Though these activities bring about prosperity but the consideration towards the healthy environment is still lacking. The encouraging steps taken to reduce the impacts are harnessing of renewable energy and few preventive measures taken globally. Fiji and PICs are the ones highly affected as they continue to bear coastline erosion, salt water intrusion, agricultural crisis, health issues and severe weather conditions. In this review, we tried to investigate how Fiji has reacted to the issues of climate change. A number of adaptation projects and programs in Fiji partnering with nations across the Pacific and globe are now underway, but none individually meets Fiji’s acknowledged needs. Fiji’s existing national climate adaptation strategies seem weak and require improved and integrated proven community-based climate adaptation and sustainable resource management. The main challenge is implementation and monitoring of these policies, as majority of the population do not perceive their responsibilities towards climate change. Consequently, most of the work done on countering climate change may only be on adaptation and empowering the people towards productivity and prosperity and is not directed towards decelerating the anticipated risks.

A framework for the adaptation of Indigenous heritage sites to the impacts of climate change. (944)

Bethune Carmichael 1 2

  1. Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  2. Charles Darwin University, Alice Springs, Australia

Impact analysis for cultural heritage sites has received some attention yet little adaptation planning has resulted. No research has sought to investigate how Indigenous heritage site managers might plan for climate change. This is the scope of this research. Ultimately, it aims to assist Indigenous managers to develop a framework for the adaptation of Indigenous heritage sites to the impacts of climate change, a practical tool designed to assist in autonomous, heritage-adaptation planning by the Indigenous custodians of heritage sites across a variety of bioregions and governance structures. At present Ranger Groups offer the greatest potential in this regard – though not exclusively of other actors (individuals or groups). Through action research their current natural resource management practice will be collaboratively investigated in terms of heritage sites and climate change. Considerations will include: Rangers’ desired outcomes for sites; existing management frameworks; current vulnerability; current climate and sea-level variability; and ideas for adaptation options. Three case studies are planned:
1. Kakadu National Park Indigenous rangers, managers and other community members, in association with the ARC Linkage Project – From Prehistory to History, Kakadu National Park – an ANU archaeological investigation of past indigenous adaptation to climate change and implications for future adaptation. Many sites are facing significant impacts.
2. Djelk Indigenous Protected Area rangers, managers and other community members, based in Maningrida, Northern Australia; and
3. Tjuwanpa rangers, managers and other community members based at Ntaria (Hermannsburg) in Central Australia.


Weathering the storms of drought: Reconceptualising drought risk management by Australian wheat farmers. (1121)

Adewuyi Ayodele Adeyinka 1 , Chandrasekhar Krishnamurti 2 , Tek Maraseni 1 , Sommarat Chantarat 3

  1. International Centre for Applied Climate Sciences, Institute for Agriculture and the Environment, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD, Australia
  2. Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD, Australia
  3. Ardnt-Cordon Department of Economics, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

We looked into the strategies farmers adopt in managing their revenue risk due to drought. The prospects of managing the challenges of indemnity-based insurance with rainfall-index insurance were discussed. We established the relationship between yield (wheat) and cumulative standardized precipitation indices based on data from 1971 till 2010. The hedging efficiency of the product was analysed using Certainty Equivalence of Revenue, Conditional Tail Expectations and Mean Root Square Loss. The diversification prospect of the risk was captured with Loss Ratios. Previous studies assumed constant price but our analysis suggests that the inverse relationship between price and yield reduces the willingness to pay for insurance. Differences in hedging efficiency were observed between Queensland and Western Australia and methodology adopted. Farmers from locations with high rainfall variability were more willing to pay for the insurance. The results from the Loss Ratio Analysis showed that pooling insurance contracts reduced risk to the insurer. We concluded that other variables would have to be taken into consideration in order to design robust weather-index insurance. We noted that the current amendments to drought policy in Australia have traded efficiency for equity. Some necessary legal and regulatory requirements for a sustainable adaptation to drought through recent innovative insurance options in the Australian market were also enumerated with regards to anti-competition laws and insurable interests. It was recommended that stamp duties on agro-insurance be abolished and tax incentives on insurance premium would make farmers adjust their practices towards profitability and forestall rural debt.


Changing the climate in Local Government – Negotiating the role of Sustainability Officer in urban and rural councils. (1122)

Ruth Ballardie 1

  1. Victoria University, Footscray, VIC, Australia

 ‘Sustainability Officers’ in Local Government  are relatively recent position and are working at the interface between governments and the community in a volatile, uncertain and highly politicised social field which is undergoing significant, rapid and highly contested change. Local government has been characterised as highly rigid and bureaucratic organisations, with research highlighting key challenges they face with climate change including: changes to governance structures, communication with stakeholders both within and outside the institutions, dealing with uncertainty and lack of specific local data on climate change. Reports from these survey and workshop-based research have alluded to the difficulties, and stresses, faced by environmental/sustainability officers working at these interfaces.

The research reported here uses longitudinal qualitative interviews with sustainability officers from both metropolitan and rural LGOs to examine 1) how sustainability officers work with the tensions between the social, political, environmental and scientific discourses and institutional  practices within these organisations; 2) identifies institutional barriers and enablers in the performance of their work; 3) how the ‘work identities’ of sustainability officers are developed and negotiated as relatively new and ambiguous positions within existing organisations and; 4) how their ‘work identity’ intersects with ‘personal identity’, in particular with their political and moral frameworks.