Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Eyre Peninsula

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Siebentritt, Mark; Halsey, Nicole; Stafford Smith, Mark




(Exec Summ exceeds field size) The Eyre Peninsula is a vibrant region, supported by a diverse economy underpinned by traditional industries like farming and fishing and emerging sectors like tourism and mining. It has an abundance of natural assets on the land and in the sea and a community that is engaged and motivated to plan for a sustainable future. The region has been proactively planning for climate change for nearly a decade through supporting research projects and industry and community work into climate change impacts and potential adaptation options. This Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan is the next step in preparing for climate change on the Eyre Peninsula. It has been developed by the Eyre Peninsula Integrated Climate Change Agreement Committee (EPICCA) who adopted an innovative approach through the use of adaptation pathways analysis. The Plan is the product of a regional community engaged in practical thinking about how it can respond to the future impacts of climate change, considering how individual sector actions interact to deliver regional priorities. Climate change will impact the Eyre Peninsula by leading to warmer and most likely drier conditions on the land. Rising sea levels will impact the coast and rising temperatures and acidity will occur in the Great Southern Ocean and Spencer Gulf. In responding to these changes, there will be ‘adaptation tipping points’, that is, some actions that will be viable to begin with will later become inadequate. Agriculture will most likely experience a fall in cropping yields as temperatures rise and rainfall declines, while fisheries will experience a change in the location of commercial species, with some becoming more abundant and other less. Changing levels of production of the region’s primary industries may not necessarily translate to economic decline, which will also be influenced by the costs of doing business, that is, changing input costs and output prices. The challenges for Local Government will be numerous, requiring attention to development in coastal areas, expansion of peri-urban areas into bush fire prone zones and maintenance of essential transport services, especially roads. For natural resource managers, the focus will be on water resources management and biodiversity conservation, both of which will be impacted by declining rainfall and projected increased temperatures. The adaptation pathways analysis focussed on eight issues and areas of decision making (described in italics below). These were then considered in a regional context to explore interactions and issues that are not captured at the sector level. The outcomes of the analysis were as follows: Agriculture - How and when can the farming sector transition to more viable agricultural practices in the face of warmer and drier conditions in areas that are currently marginal for cropping? Various agricultural practices that are considered leading edge will provide some measure of adaptation in the coming 10-20 years, however, long term adaptation may require more transformational responses such as adoption of advanced breeding techniques by that time, and earlier planning is needed for these options. Conservation management - How can ecological communities that are currently threatened be protected as species distributions change in response to a warmer and drier climate? In the short term greater emphasis needs to be placed on better forecasting of changing species distributions. Within the next one to two decades arrangements will need to be made for large scale refuges within the region and assisting plants and animals to move to more suitable habitat outside the region. Fisheries – How will the fisheries sector respond to changing distribution and abundance of wild catch commercial species and changed conditions for aquaculture as a result of increasing temperatures and acidity in Spencer Gulf and the Great Southern Ocean and changing ocean currents?

Seed Consulting Services

South Australia

regional adaptation planning

Regional Analysis and Development

Published Version (pdf) (5.50MB)

© February 2014.


Client Report (Author)


Siebentritt, Mark; Halsey, Nicole; Stafford Smith, Mark. Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Eyre Peninsula. South Australia: Seed Consulting Services; 2014.

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