Thursday 31 May 2018 10:07am
Many communities and iwi in coastal and flood-prone locations face an uncertain future because of climate change, with rising sea levels and a greater frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events.
We do not yet have a good understanding of how these long-term changes will affect peple in these exposed locations, but we can learn from studies of the impacts of short-run natural hazards such as major floods and earthquakes. It is clear that individuals and households can suffer both directly and indirectly, and stressors even from single events can extend over years. These include significant financial impacts, loss of assets and resources, loss of access to valued places, loss of physical and mental health, and loss of identity and sense of belonging.
Some individuals and groups may be more vulnerable to these impacts, while others may be more resilient. It is not yet clear who will be more vulnerable, nor what kinds of steps need to be taken to build resilience for the long term.
Decision-making institutions such as councils will need to be proactive in working with exposed communities, anticipate the support that may be required, and offer equitable solutions.
Iwi and community members will need to be involved in climate change adaptation processes, and to be in a position to make informed decisions about their future.
To read the full report Communities and climate Change: Vulnerability to rising seas and more frequent flooding.