The Cockburn Sound Coastal Alliance (CSCA) is concerned with adapting to climate change and taking action to minimise threats and maximise opportunities resulting from climate change and its effects. Adapting to as well as managing intensive development pressures along the Cockburn Sound Coast will be an ongoing challenge into the future. The CSCA recognises that:
- Adaptation is a shared responsibility that requires strong and committed partnerships among councils, coastal managers, communities and interest groups
- Adapting to climate change involves understanding the dynamic nature of the coastal zone and the potential vulnerability of certain areas to coastal processes
- Climate change adaptation requires an understanding amongst coastal communities of the need for adaptation and how adaptation measures can be successfully and effectively embedded into decision-making processes
- A step-by-step approach (a pathway) that is flexible to changing circumstances (new information, new methodologies, change in policy) is necessary to meet these challenges, and
- Delaying adaptation or a failure to act will only cost more in the future and expose communities to a greater level of risk to coastal hazards.
The flowchart below describes the processes for coastal adaptation adopted by the Alliance.
Risk management approach is fundamental to climate change adaptation. The ISO risk management framework (ISO 31000:2009) was adopted by the CSCA to address risks and to help deal with uncertainties associated with the magnitude and timing of climate change impacts. A risk management approach helps to identify the likelihood and consequences of risks and define the level of acceptable risk for the coastal zone. An acceptable risk is the level of risk individuals and communities are prepared to live with, along with the amount they are prepared to pay for activities that would help them adapt to climate change effects over time (Britton et al. 2011).