Community vulnerability, resilience and adaptation to climate change

Adaptation to climate change requires a broader recognition across society of the growing need to deal with changing risks. This research programme is developing new analyses of the current risk management frameworks as well as developing a better understanding of how different communities can adapt.

Adaptation to climate change also requires local governments to identify and address appropriate responses at community levels. This research is developing indicators and frameworks to assess relevant community vulnerabilities consistently and objectively by integrating information on socio-economic and physical hazard factors.

The fourth year was used to develop a clearer sense of the rates at which New Zealand should adapt to different types of change.

The researchers were actively engaged with Maori, Iwi, and Local Government, and are covering a wide range of issues for public health.

The project was collaborative and involved the following researchers:

  • Victoria University of Wellington (Martin Manning, Ralph Chapman, Andy Reisinger, Judy Lawrence, Georgina Hart, Nigel Taplikis)
  • NIWA
  • Otago University (Philippa Howden-Chapmen, Simon Hales)
  • Auckland University (Alistair Woodward, Graeme Lindsay
  • Health and Environment International Trust (Tord Kjellstrom)
  • PS Consulting Ltd

The research programme covered 4 main objectives in the first three years:

Objective 1. Community vulnerability Maori

To identify qualitative and quantitative tools which incorporate traditional knowledge systems and measures of well-being in order to construct indicators of Maori vulnerability to climate change.

Objective 2. Community vulnerability: local government

To develop innovative combinations of physical and socio-economic information that address key issues of vulnerability to climate change, an understanding of the barriers and opportunities for considering climate related risks and the regulatory frameworks within which decisions are taken about such risks that are of particular concern to regional, district and city councils. The issues will be drawn from among housing, health, risks posed by extreme events, consistency and applicability of available information, use of climate change scenarios, and treatment of uncertainties in risk-based methodologies.

Objective 3. Community vulnerability public health

To develop innovative combinations of physical and socio-economic information that address key issues of vulnerability to climate change of particular concern to a regional public health service. The issues will be drawn from among: the role of community health in individual and community resilience, interactions between health, climate and the built environment.

Objective 4. Frameworks and indicators

To develop multi-factor indicators and frameworks that are informed by supporting studies in Objectives 1 – 3 and which are able to be used in local authority decision making systems to identify community vulnerability to climate change and corresponding options for developing resilience.

Results

Outputs from this programme include the following nine reports covering flood risk, water management and sea level rise for specific regions in New Zealand:

  • research papers published in peer reviewed journals
  • Envirolink report on adaptive management barriers and opportunities carried out for the Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council
  • 2010 progress report which includes a list of the peer reviewed publications, reports and conference presentations at that stage
  • series of presentations to local governments on adaptive risk management to address climate change:

Managing Increasing Risks from Climate Change pdf1.3MB

Martin Manning - Kapiti Coast District Council March 2012

Dealing with Changes in our Climate pdf401KB

Judy Lawrence - Greater Wellington Regional Council May 2012

Dealing with Changes in our Climate pdf1.5MB

Martin Manning - Greater Wellington Regional Council May 2012

Framing the Issues: Changing Climate Risk and Flexible Decision Making pdf1.9MB

Martin Manning - Judy Lawrence - NZCCC Sea Level Rise Conference May 2012

Changing Climate Risks Decision-making under Uncertainty pdf1.67MB

Judy Lawrence - Auckland City Council June 2012

Changing Climate Risks pdf1.5MB

Martin Manning - Auckland City Council June 2012

Dealing with Changes in our Climate - Decision-making Frameworks pdf450KB

Judy Lawrence - Greater Wellington Regional Council June 2012

Climate Change Risk and Flexible Decision-making pdf818KB

Martin Manning - Greater Wellington Regional Council June 2012

Climate Change Risk Management pdf1.4MB

Martin Manning - Judy Lawrence - Hutt City July 2012

Adapting to Changing Climate Risk pdf1.16MB

Judy Lawrence - Martin Manning - Ministry for the Environment July 2012