Supporting evidence-based adaptation decision-making in Tasmania: A synthesis of climate change adaptation research

Authors: Jan McDonald, John Harkin, Andrew Harwood, Alistair Hobday, Anna Lyth and Holger Meinke
Year: 2013

This report provides an evaluation of the current state of adaptation knowledge in Tasmania, based on a literature review of published and on-going research, as well as interviews and workshops with adaptation practitioners, stakeholders and researchers. Significant differences between sectors were found in terms of their perceptions of climate change impacts and the need for response. Awareness and motivation for adaptation was highest in the marine, primary industries, and emergency management sectors. This awareness and motivation appears linked, in part, to one or more of three main influences on adaptation: research, sectoral needs, and/or government policies. Given this qualitative relationship between research strength and sectors with greatest climate adaptation awareness, investment in research is clearly important to develop climate impact and adaptation strategies in Tasmania. Research is strongest in marine biodiversity and resources, and to a lesser extent primary industries and terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity. There is no Tasmania-specific work relating to the impacts of climate change on Indigenous Tasmanians, and very little coverage of health and community well-being issues or business and industry perspectives (other than the primary industries). Some major recent projects of relevance to coastal adaptation, land use planning and (to a lesser extent) infrastructure and emergency management have started to fill significant policy gaps in these areas. In other sectors, any adaptation that has occurred has been driven almost entirely by issues relating specifically to the sector (e.g. emergency management), or to policy-related drivers (e.g. land use planning).

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