Integrating models for assessing adaptive capacity in coastal communities: a case study in South East Queensland (SEQ), Australia
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The Australian Government has put climate change adaptation on top of its political agenda, where South East Queensland (SEQ) one of the most developed and fastest growing coastal regions in Australia, is considered a priority for climate adaptation research. Coastal areas of SEQ are extremely vulnerable to the effect of sea level rise, changing wave climate and extreme storms, considering that 10% population, which is expected to grow by 60% in the next 20 years, is concentrated in proximity to the beach front, canals, estuaries and tidal entrances, or within a coastal floodplain (Wang et al. 2010). The South East Queensland Climate Adaptation Research Initiative is a cross-sectoral project looking at climate scenarios, impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation option for the future. Its final aim is to inform the Australian and Queensland Governments on future adaptation options and to provide information to design a climate-proof regulatory and planning system. The University of The Sunshine Coast, in collaboration with Griffith University, is responsible for the assessment of the adaptive capacity of coastal communities, where adaptive capacity is the capacity refers to the ability of a system to respond to change in a positive way and a measure of the ability to successfully implement adaptation strategies. A case study approach is used throughout the project and two highly vulnerable areas have been chosen to explore stakeholders mental models and to identify the determinants of adaptive capacity for coastal areas: Broadbeach, in the Gold Coast and Kawana Waters in the Sunshine Coast. In these study sites, workshops are being carried out combining Group Model Building techniques for system's conceptualization (e.g Andersen et al., 2007, Smith et al., 2008) and Bayesian Belief Networks techniques (e.g. Castelletti et al., 2007). The system conceptualization is used to identify the systems components, the drivers and the consequences of the climate systems and the key leverage points determining adaptive capacity. Bayesian Belief Network (BBN), a probabilistic graphical model that represents the behaviour of the system based on causal relationships, is then used to explore more in detail the system and understand the implications of adaptation options.
Coastal Zone Asia Pacific Conference