COMMUNITY WORKSHOP TO ACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION
Noosa's citizens are being invited to initiate a strategy aimed at preparing the region for the impacts of climate change during a free, open workshop organised by the Noosa Biosphere and other community groups.
Participants at the Noosa Climate Action Project's community adaptation workshop, a joint initiative between the Noosa Biosphere, Noosa Residents and Ratepayers Association, and SEQ Catchments, will be asked to share, discuss and prioritise climate change adaptation strategies with a view to developing an action plan for the region.
The workshop holds particular relevance given a recent State Government commissioned Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence report found that the rate of change of temperature and sea level rise was greater than previously expected and that Queensland was the state most vulnerable to these impacts.
Workshop Facilitator Susie Chapman said the event, to be held on 17 November at the Sheraton Noosa Resort and Spa, will be a chance for local residents and businesses to drive a community process that will identify the potential local impacts to society and the environment and find ways to collectively address them.
"This is a positive opportunity for the community to share their stories and collect ideas on how we are going to adapt to these impacts caused by climate variability and climate change," she said.
"This bottom-up risk reduction approach is fully supported and complementary to the top-down approaches from national, state and local government strategies and is essential for effective local adaptation," she said.
Guest speakers will address participants including University of the Sunshine Coast climate change science and policy lecturer Kate English and Stephen Ferrigno, the General Manager of Sheraton Noosa Spa and Resort, which is renowned for its successful sustainability initiatives.
Ms English, who has 25 years' experience as a public policy analyst, lecturer and private sector sustainability consultant in Australia and the US, said the workshop will not be a debate on the causes of climate change, but will focus on measures the community can take to adapt the region to its impacts, many of which had wider benefits.
"Adaptation measures which also mitigate greenhouse gas emissions are especially beneficial," she said.
"Conserving water and installing rainwater tanks, for example, assists residents in meeting their water supply needs in emergency situations and has the potential to reduce the need for further water infrastructure."
Ms English said the building of community networks could address a number of social, economic and environmental impacts.
"One example is the possible severe health impacts from exposure to extended heatwaves, especially to the elderly or those with existing health problems," she said.
"An action plan developed in coordination with community groups can promote adaptation measures that can reduce risks from extreme weather events such as heatwaves."
Mr Ferrigno said he will share examples of Sheraton Noosa Spa and Resort sustainability initiatives with participants to show how local businesses can contribute to an adaptation strategy that provides the co-benefits of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
"Our main contribution involves preventing or minimising waste, thus reducing the impact we have on the environment and community services," he said.
"We make use of solar energy, water harvesting, water conservation and incentives for guests to reduce their waste."
"We have a strong belief that the health of a business is closely tied to the health of the community and the environment."
Climate adaption workshop
Wednesday 17th November
5.00 pm light supper - free
6.00 -- 9.00pm workshop
Sheraton Noosa River Lounge
14-16 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
For more information contact: email@example.com.
Noosa Residents and Ratepayers Association Inc
12 November 2010
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