Adapt between the flags: Enhancing the capacity of Surf Life Saving Australia to cope with climate change and to leverage adaptation within coastal communities

TitleAdapt between the flags: Enhancing the capacity of Surf Life Saving Australia to cope with climate change and to leverage adaptation within coastal communities
Publication TypeReport
Notes
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSanò, M, Richards, R, Sahin, O, Sherker, S, Ware, D, Tomlinson, R
Pagination146
InstitutionNational Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
CityGold Coast
ISBN Number978-1-925039-62-7
Keywordsadaptive capacity, Bayesian Belief Network, coastal community, Cudgen Headland, Currumbin, New South Wales, NSW, online survey, Qld, Queensland, Surf Life Saving Australia, synthesis and integrative research, system dynamics, Tas, Tasmania, Ulverstone, workshops
Abstract

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) has assets and facilities exposed to climatic drivers  that are on the frontline of climate change, including 310 separately incorporated local surf life saving clubs (SLSCs) and more than 150,000 trained volunteers delivering services on the coastline.

Using a case study approach, the objective of this research project was to employ a range of methods to identify climate change adaptation options and to explore adaptive capacity and pathways for its enhancement, combining stakeholder engagement, Systems Thinking, System Dynamics and Bayesian modelling within five case studies: Currumbin SLSC and North Kirra SLSC, south-east Queensland; Cudgen Headland SLSC, north-east New South Wales; Ulverstone SLSC, northern Tasmania; and SLSA national office, Sydney.

A series of workshops involving surf life savers, local council and community representatives were run, focusing on asset management, life saving operations and the role of local clubs in increasing community resilience. This first round of workshops was the base to identify relevant adaptive responses. For clubs, these included the defence of current assets, their relocation and retreat, or the improvement of life saving operations through training and equipment upgrades. At the national level adaptation responses included improving partnerships with external organisations, building capacity of the national organisation to provide guidance for clubs and mainstreaming climate adaptation in current procedure.

The second round of workshops was centred on a Bayesian belief modelling exercise to identify adaptive capacity determinants to implement the most relevant options, such as type of funding (local government, state government, club revenue, memberships, etc.) knowledge and expertise in developing options, and community or government will for change. In general, adaptive capacity determinants fell into three categories: (i) funding, (ii) technical knowledge and (iii) social and institutional networks. Finally, the adaptive capacity determinants identified across case study areas were the base to determine a set of ten actions to enhance the adaptive capacity of surf life saving in Australia.

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