Barriers to adaptation to sea level rise: The legal, institutional and cultural barriers to adaptation to sea-level rise in Australia

Authors: Jon Barnett, Elissa Waters, Sam Pendergast and Aedan Puleston
Year: 2013

This report identified five key kinds of barriers to adaptation: governance, policy, uncertainty, resources, and psychosocial factors. It emphasizes that adaptation to sea-level rise should be a shared responsibility, but with distinct roles for each level of government. It includes case study examples. The report presents the findings of a project undertaken to understand how legal, institutional, and cultural factors impede or facilitate adaptation to sea-level rise in Australia. In the first phase the project develops a typology of barriers to climate change adaptation based on over eight hundred pages of submissions to the Australian Productivity Commissions inquiry to barriers to adaptation. The second phase investigates the issues of responsibility for adaptation from the perspective of the people it matters to most in the context of sea-level rise: coastal residents, business owners and managers. In total, 80 semi-structured interviews were conducted: 37 in Eurobodalla and 43 in Mornington Peninsula.

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