Australia faces significant risk from erosion, flooding and rising seas with nearly 80% of Australians residing on the coast. However, many of Australia’s coastal communities have limited access to the information need to plan for and implement risk reduction and adaptation strategies to address these natural hazards. What’s more, Australia has recently seen record levels of weather-related insurance claims with some areas already facing rising policy premiums. Insurers and other investors with coastal interests are now drawing attention to the disproportionate amount the federal government spends on post-disaster relief and recovery (an estimated $560 m) versus pre-disaster resilience measures (estimated $50 m). This 10:1 ratio has led to a call for improved resilience planning and increased funding for adaptation and resilience activities. TNC’s many years of experience designing and implementing risk reduction strategies for climate adaptation across globe has positioned the organization well to work with the Australian government and private sector to identify pathways for protecting and conserving marine habitats for the coastal protection benefits they provide to coastal communities and industries.
The Nature Conservancy has recently partnered with governments, community groups and the private sector to investigate nature-based solutions to coastal risk reduction and climate change adaptation in Port Phillip Bay.
Restoration of marine habitats in the Peel region of Western Australia begins with education, outreach and data collection in order to visualize and prioritize efforts to protect valuable mangroves, salt marches, seagrasses, and shellfish reefs.