ACCARNSI Phase 2 Update

The Australian Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Settlements and Infrastructure (ACCARNSI) continued to consolidate its position in 2014 with the negotiation of key funding as one of four research networks confirmed by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) as part of their Phase 2 operations.ACCARNSI’s new 2 ½ year contract with NCCARF will start in 2015 and will focus on climate change adaptation for settlements and infrastructure with host institution UNSW and partner universities, Griffith University, the University of South Australia and the University of Canberra each bringing access to researcher expertise and capabilities in coastal management, planning and adaptation of infrastructure, and risk assessment and adaptation, in both urban and regional contexts.ACCARNSI will support NCCARF in matters related specifically to coastal settlements and infrastructure including the development of a National Coastal Adaptation Framework, the synthesis and distribution of adaptation knowledge and stakeholder engagement.2014 industry activities included training support for the ‘Learning to Adapt’ master-class, EIANZ’s innovative and certified climate change adaptation professional development program. ACCARNSI Convenor Associate Professor Ron Cox continued to be a sought after speaker at local and international conferences, congresses and meetings in 2014 with an invitation to participate in the ‘Working with Nature’ Initiative and a paper on ‘Climate Change Risk Assessment for Ports in the Pacific’ at the International PIANC Congress in San Francisco in June followed by the International Conference on Coastal Engineering (ICCE) in Seoul authoring and presenting papers on coastal adaptation, beach nourishment and climate change implications for coastal design storms in eastern Australia.  In October, Ron presented at an international workshop to over 200 participants from across the Philippines on the importance of Climate Change to Ports and Coastal Infrastructure. Closer to home, papers were authored and presented by Ron and Bill Peirson, at the NCCARF Conference in October on extreme water levels, adaptation of sea walls and the relative importance of wave climate change and sea level rise.   Ron also presented a summary of Coastal Processes and Responses research being undertaken for the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH)  Climate Adaptation Research Hub (CARH) .  In Mandurah Western Australia, Ron chaired sessions at the Australian Coast to Coast Conference as well as organising and presenting a one-day  training workshop for local and state government participants in the application of the Engineers Australia Climate Change Guidelines for Coasts, Sustainability and Adaptation.  In November, Ron  gave the keynote address at the Engineers Australia Practical Responses to Climate Change Conference on ‘The Challenges of Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Environments’.ACCARNSI in partnership with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) is undertaking a 3 year research program as the Coastal Processes and Responses Node funded under the CARH by NSW OEH.  Specific research is being undertaken in regard to beach erosion and recovery, effective application of beach nourishment and upgrading sea walls as means of adaptation to climate change.  Targeted research is also being undertaken on the physical and environmental/ecological aspects of climate change within estuaries. 2015 promises to further strengthen ACCARNSI’s climate change adaptation research base with the first in a series of themed Early Career Researcher Forums, review of the National Adaptation Research Plan and Stakeholder Panel workshops.