Applying an index of adaptive capacity to climate change in north-western Victoria, Australia

Created by Remy Sietchiping

Posted by on December 8, 2006 | 0 comments

Climate change calls for strategic planning that builds resilience in vulnerable areas to manage the associated risks. This paper discusses how adaptive various communities and industries are to climate change in the North West of Victoria (also known as the Victorian wheat belt), Australia . Indicators of adaptive ability for communities and industries, and the importance of key drivers like government policies, expert advice and empirical evidence of developing this capacity are identified. It also incorporates input from key regional groups as well as current knowledge on adaptability of regional communities to climate change across three major themes: socio-cultural, economic, institutional/infrastructure. Each of these major themes has associated indicators, which in turn have an individual suite of measures, albeit all contributing to the overall adaptive capacity and spatial variability of these capacities. A Geographic Information System is used to collect and analyse the data and spatially represent the indicators and indices. Workshop participants’ used their ‘expert-judgment’ to assess and weight indicators, measures and themes. The stakeholders’ participatory assessment, the quantification of diversified data and interests and the importance of multiple policy outcomes make the findings locally relevant. We find that capacity and preparedness to adapt to climate change varies substantially across communities and different parts of the grains industry.

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