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Adapting to a changing climate on Kangaroo Island

News release
15 February 2016

Natural Resources Kangaroo Island (NRKI), DEWNR and the Kangaroo Island Council are leading the development of a climate change adaptation plan for the island.

The project is being managed as part of the Resilient Hills & Coasts regional adaptation planning initiative, which also includes the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula.

Kangaroo Island Mayor Peter Clements said adaptation to climate change is a shared responsibility involving a joint effort by all levels of government, business, communities and individuals.

“The development of locally-relevant adaptation responses needs to take into account the knowledge of local communities and the differing circumstance and impacts within each region,” Mr Clements said.

Bold, inspirational and unambiguous leadership

”Bold, inspirational and unambiguous leadership is a critical success factor if Kangaroo Island is to position itself positively to prepare for climate change and to also take advantage opportunities to leverage funding or establish itself as a model for positive transformation.”

There are a number of challenges that require consideration if Kangaroo Island is to suitably prepare for the impacts of climate change and in all respects a proactive approach is more likely to deliver positive results than a reactive approach.

“It’s not all doom and gloom and a number of opportunities present themselves for Kangaroo Island to position and present itself as an ideal site for piloting new technologies and innovations.”

Stakeholder consultations on the new NRM plan for Kangaroo Island have indicated that many community members feel there is an opportunity for Kangaroo Island to ‘showcase’ the way forward.

Adaptation planning workshop 22 February 2016

In 2014, an Integrated Vulnerability Assessment (IVA) workshop was held with local community member participation, following on from this will be an adaptation planning workshop on the 22 February.

This workshop will explore possible adaptation responses to key issues that were identified during the IVA, including:

  • agricultural productivity
  • built coastal assets
  • emergency services management
  • protecting against bushfire threat
  • condition of sealed and unsealed roads
  • health and well-being of vulnerable members of the community
  • infrastructure assets such as energy and telecommunications networks.

It is also acknowledged that tourism, the economy more generally and water security are important considerations for Kangaroo Island and these issues will be integrated into the above discussion topics as appropriate.

The Natural Resources Management Board Presiding Member, Richard Trethewey, said environmental and ecological considerations relating to climate change have been factored into the NRM Board’s Climate Change Ready NRM Plan for KI that will soon be going out for public consultation.

“A high degree of cooperation and collaboration between all parties will also stand the community in good stead as circumstances change. I encourage people to come forward to contribute local knowledge to this important initiative,” Mr Trethewey said.

RSVP

Members of the community interested in participating in the workshop, should contact Phillipa Holden (NRKI) on Phillipa.holden@sa.gov.au or 84434418. Further information about the project is available at https://www.alexandrina.sa.gov.au/resilienthillscoasts