With 34,218 kilometres of coastline and spectacular locations from the tropical north to the temperate south, it’s no wonder many Australians choose to live on the coast. Because of this, the risks posed by erosion, flooding and rising sea levels are significant for many Australians. However, many of Australia’s coastal communities have limited access to the information they need to plan for and implement risk reduction and adaptation strategies to address these 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 Australian government spends on post-disaster relief and recovery (an estimated $560M) versus pre-disaster resilience measures (estimated $50M). This 10:1 ratio has led to a call for improved resilience planning and increased funding for adaptation and resilience activities.
The Nature Conservancy’s many years of experience designing and implementing risk reduction strategies for climate adaptation across the globe has positioned us well to be able to work with the Australian government and the private sector to identify ways of 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.