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Adaptation: Preparation and Review – An Example from Melbourne 

Marlene Ritter
February 1, 2024
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Examples from Melbourne on what a city can do by refreshing its Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

In 2017 Melbourne published their Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Refresh (CCASR), which made the city a pioneer in revising their Climate Change Adaptation Actions and Strategy. The following words are words of praise for the city’s efforts by

“It is still quite rare to see cities revisit these plans after several years of implementation to review progress, update projections and refresh their action plans.” ICLEI Regional Director of Oceania (2017)

According to Melbourne’s refreshed Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the city revised the 8 years prior published Strategy and actions implemented since then. Melbourne’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy of  2009 entails a kind of report the city can use as a basis for their monitoring. 

CCASR – Melbourne

Firstly the main risks that were identified in 2009 got evaluated and reassessed in their accuracy and relevance for the 2017 plan. Secondly the projections used in the 2009 version got reassessed and updated with the state-of-the-art scientific proven projections in 2017, as well as updating the major trends within the municipality. Which lead to novel principles, visions and goals like for instance the building of effective partnerships with people and institutions from different sectors, to employ existing expertise and skills of diverse backgrounds.

Through revision the city of Melbourne identified key challenges of climate change, it analysed its climate change adaptation gaps, to enhance the effectiveness of the city’s endeavour to address climate change. It includes the identification of key challenges and existing work that addresses those. The analysis also discovers the gaps or areas that need to be strengthened along with a solution as to  how to fill the gaps.

CCASR in the Context of IMAGINE adaptation

This approach is in line with the principles of IMAGINE adaptation, where the focus lies on identifying success and effectiveness of climate change adaptations. This can be done by working through existing plans and revising their input and output and to evaluate how far and in what manner the adaptations are implemented and functioning. All of this generates the data base for the new starting point/baseline for upcoming plans. 

State of Victoria’s Support for Melbourne

But Melbourne Municipality was not the only institution that used the monitoring, evaluation, reporting and learning (MERL) -approach on Climate Change adaptations. In 2018 the State of Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) published the report Climate Change Adaptation Snapshot – Greater Melbourne (CCAS-GM), about their examination of the Climate Change Adaptation actions implemented in the region of Greater Melbourne.

As the State of Victoria planned a major funding program called Supporting our Regions to Adapt, they first initiated a survey of the people in the region as well as an examination of the already implemented adaptation projects. This included identifying the values and needs in the context of climate change impacts of diverse stakeholders through surveys and discussions. Along with an extensive review of 150 implemented climate change adaptation projects in the region.

The officers of DELWP evaluated the gathered information and reported the results in the publication CCAS-GM, a climate change gap analysis.

CCAS-GM Results

The results were for example, the degree of understanding of climate change and its effect, impact people are most/less worried about, expectations of who has to act when, what the people do to adapt to climate change. All this information helps governments to give the people the needed information. Another output is the information on who actually is delivering projects in Greater Melbourne.

CCAS-GM in the Context of IMAGINE adaptation

These results create the line of departure for managing climate change efficiently and effectively. By revising and evaluating the adaptations the DELWP contributed to the learning of climate change adaptation through reporting about it and publishing the report. Which fits the MERL- approach: reporting and learning. The actions of Melbourne and Victoria are steps that IMAGINE adaptation identifies as significant for cities to improve their adaptation to climate change.

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