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Transforming Coastal Communities in Oceania to Build Climate Resilience and Sustainability

Wednesday 29 June 2022 – 11:00 – 13:00 AEST

Associate Professor Michael Howes, Dr Aysin Dedekorkut, Dr Johanna Nalau, Dr Edward Morgan, Ms Estafania Arteaga

The countries of Oceania (which for our purposes will be taken to include Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and parts of South-East Asia) face many challenges in striving for sustainability, particularly when it comes to dealing with the impacts of climate change. There are wide differences in levels of development, but most of the population of this region lives in coastal communities, many of which are highly vulnerable to changes in sea levels, storms, rainfall, increased flooding, and rising temperatures. This session will identify the challenges and opportunities for transformative change that can build resilience in these communities, with the aim of finding outcomes that can be scaled up and replicated. The session will run in three main phases. First, the key risks posed by climate change in the region will be reviewed, followed by a discussion of the principles relating to the enablers, drivers and barriers to transformative change. Then participants will undertake an exercise to apply the risks and principles discussed to their organisation and situation. Finally, a group synthesis of the outcomes of this exercise will then be undertaken to identify potential collaborations between organisations and sectors. The approach will be transdisciplinary, covering the environmental, social and economic aspects of risks and responses, and will encourage groups across the Pacific to learn from each other and their differing contexts. It will also be multi-sectoral covering potential collaborations between the public, private and community sectors in line with the interests of the participants. Finally, it will be multi-level and consider the deployment of resources from the international down to the local level of governance. This session will address United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 13 (Climate Action) and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).

Associate Professor Michael Howes – Griffith University

Dr Aysin Dedekorkut – Senior Lecturer, Griffith University

Dr Johanna Nalau – Research Fellow, Griffith University
I am a climate adaptation scientist based on the Gold Coast at Griffith University. My research looks at how we make decisions about climate change adaptation and the role adaptation heuristics play in that process.

Dr Edward Morgan – Research Fellow, Griffith University

Ms Estafania Arteaga – PhD Candidate, Griffith University