Welcome to the NCCARF Portal for Local Government

One size doesn’t fit all: local governments and climate change

I am delighted that the Local Government web site has been launched. It is the mission of NCCARF to provide the knowledge needed by decision makers in order to make well-informed decisions about adaptation to climate change. These decision makers sit at all levels in Australian government, in NGOs, in business and industry, and in the community. Of these, one of the most difficult to reach from the perspective of climate change adaptation is local government. The main reason is the sheer diversity of local governments and, hence, their knowledge needs and their capacities to take action to address climate change. On the demand for knowledge side, urbanised coastal locations need to know about sea-level rise and its potential impacts for them. Inland, predominantly rural, local governments are much more concerned about drought, heat wave and bushfire, and how these might change in their frequency and severity under climate change. On the capacity side, some local governments are large and have considerable financial and human resources while others are much smaller.

So how can you bring the diverse characteristics of local governments together to address their climate change knowledge needs as a homogeneous whole? Well, the answer is that you can’t. And so NCCARF has decided to ‘open the batting’ with respect to these knowledge needs by developing a web site devoted exclusively and explicitly to local governments. We have moved with considerable caution in deciding to take this step. We recognise that web sites can be a quick, and unsatisfactory, fix – looking pretty but delivering little of practical value. And we recognise that by taking this step we are in for the long haul. The most disappointing of web sites is one that starts off in a flurry of activity but, with no provision made for on-going maintenance, disintegrates into a sea of broken links and out-dated information.

I do hope that you will find this web page a useful resource for planning around climate change adaptation. Much of its success lies in the hands of users. The volume of activity around adaptation in Australia is such that we couldn’t possibly hope or be expected to keep up with every and all developments. We need you to tell us what is happening, and we’ve made provision for this on the web site.

Please enjoy, and contribute.

Professor Jean Palutikof