Tools for decision makers
Supporting decision making in a changing climate
As an island nation with high rainfall, flooding and sea level rise pose threats to economic and social activities on floodplains and at the coast. Decisions in such locations need to be adaptive, to recognise when thresholds may be crossed and to deal with changes before they happen. In this way, decision makers can avoid or reduce the consequent damage and costs.
The mission of the Deep South Challenge is to “enable New Zealanders to adapt, manage risk and thrive in a changing climate”. New and practical tools are needed to enable decision makers to respond appropriately to climate related impacts, to limit damage and costs to the nation and its communities. With uncertainty about the timing and magnitude of climate change impacts, local government and infrastructure providers in particular need new and adaptive decision-making tools that take into account changing risk profiles. The Dynamic Adaptive Pathways Planning (DAPP) approach is an assessment tool for developing adaptation options. It helps decision makers consider the conditions under which policies will fail to reduce risks, and provides stress-test options using plausible socioeconomic scenarios of the future.
The project is focussing on flood and sea level rise management, enabling decision makers to move, over time, towards sustainable pathways that are more climate resilient. This approach was first developed in the Netherlands, and follows on from the successful development and application of the DAPP approach with local and regional councils in New Zealand, led by Victoria University of Wellington with support from Ministry for the Environment.
Project contact: Judy Lawrence, NZ Climate Change Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington
Project budget: $339,582
Project duration: March 2017 – June 2019
Research and findings:
Supporting decision making through adaptive tools in a changing climate, Judy Lawrence, Deep South Symposium
Latest news and updates
2018 may well be the year New Zealand gets serious about adapting to our changing climate. Last year, and the start of this one, gave all of us plenty of opportunities to experience a future in which creeping sea level rise and extreme weather – from drought to flood to surprise storm surges – make day-to-day life more precarious and more expensive.
In October 2017, the Deep South Challenge released a report into the state of the nation’s storm and waste water infrastructure, in the face of a changing climate. The report garnered significant media attention – not surprising given the infrastructure is currently valued at well over $20 billion.
The Deep South Challenge awards funding to investigate climate-resilient, high-value crops for the whānau of Omaio
The whānau of Omaio in the Bay of Plenty have joined forces with NIWA researchers to explore the viability of climate-resilient, high-value crops for the rohe. The group has won a $250,000 research grant under the Vision Mātauranga programme of the Deep South National Science Challenge to better understand Omaio’s changing climate and how it might support the community to create a local economy based around a high-value product like kiwi fruit.