Climate Risk and Adaptation

Environmental Ethos is at the forefront of integrating climate risk and adaptation into the planning and design of landscapes. We can provide innovative landscape and community focused adaptation options including visualizations for scenario building, both in terms of impact and adaption futures. In addition we can assist in building capacity for change through stakeholder engagement and community consultation processes.

A brief outline of the key issues addressed in a Climate Risk and Opportunity Assessment is outlined below:

  • Identify, assess and quantify climate risk at a landscape and site level;
  • Combine historic weather data with peer-reviewed scientific climate change projections to assess the future risk of extreme weather events and gradual climatic changes on the landscape and the potential impact on the sustainability of communities and businesses; and
  • Develop a business case for adaptation through prioritisation and costing of key risks and opportunities.

The basic climate risk assessment process is outlined below:

Step 1: Assess the baseline (existing risk)

Existing risk assessments are based on historic climatic data, recorded climatic trends and take into consideration regional climatic influences, notably for the east coast of Australia, the Southern Oscillation Index.

Step 2: Assess the future increase/decrease of the risk factors and apply to the baseline.

Projected climate change generally takes the form of various scenarios based on the IPCC global models.

Step 3: Assess vulnerability and adaptation options, undertake cost benefit analysis and stakeholder engagement processes.

During Stage 3 there is also the potential to combine mitigation and adaptation. The focus of the ‘visioning’ workshops with stakeholders should span across both immediate and long term actions with the aim of embedding resilience into natural, social, economic and cultural realms.

Adaptation planning may involve amending all or some of the following management practices:

  • Updates to Health and safety protocols & Emergency Planning
  • Flood planning – catchment wide strategies
  • Drought management – water storage and reuse
  • Bushfire management
  • Future proof parks and recreational areas
  • Environmental and offset management in a changing climate
  • Managing risks to infrastructure and logistics
  • Planning for liveable communities