Monday, July 9, 2012

Vulnerable communities like Wudinna at risk from climate change

Clare Peddie in Adelaide Now: Wudinna tops the list of towns most vulnerable to climate change in South Australia, a new report shows. But the Eyre Peninsula town's mayor says locals are doing their best to adapt and plan for the future, despite a lack of support from state and federal governments.

"Australia's Country Towns 2050: What will a climate adapted settlement pattern look like" compares almost 2000 inland towns of more than 200 people, using a "vulnerability index". Settlements most at risk of hotter and drier conditions are those in remote locations, with a high percentage of people employed in agriculture-related industry and limited capacity to adapt.

The University of Adelaide Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning prepared the report for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. "If communities recognise climate change is on their doorstep and take action, they can adapt," said centre director Professor Andrew Beer.

"The places that adapt and try to adapt will survive. The places that don't will simply disappear." The most vulnerable town in Australia was White Cliffs in NSW. No SA towns are among the nation's top 20 most vulnerable....

Wudinna location map in South Australia, created by Roke, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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