Limits to Climate Change Adaptation for Two Low-lying Communities in the Torres Strait

Author: NCCARF
Year: 2012

This factsheet summarises key findings from a case study on limits to adaptation for two low-lying communities in the Torres Strait. Boigu is one of the lowest lying inhabited Torres Strait islands, and already experiences inundation by the sea during high spring tides and storm surges. The limited elevation on Boigu represents a very acute limit on the natural capital essential to sustain the island as a physical entity, let alone to support sustainable livelihoods within the resident community. Erub is a volcanic high island whose elevation provides greater options for adaptation from sea level rise although the community has significant infrastructure, housing settlements and cultural sites on the low coastal fringe. Although traditional resilience indicators such as income, access to education and other social services etc. are limited compared to those in mainland centres, financial and human livelihood assets were not considered limiting.This factsheet contains further information on adaptation limitations, barriers, and options, the current stressors, and future climate impacts predicted for the low-lying island communities of Boigu and Erub in the Torres Strait. This is one of the six case studies conducted for NCCARFs Limits to Adaptation project to explore the underlying causes and potential to transcend limits in particular regions.

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