Could we combine cultural approaches and disciplines to inform our approach to adaptation?
Could we develop expertise in implementing appropriate strategies for ecosystems, industries and cities?
The trends affecting coastal assets and lifestyles are global. Varying effects, capability and responses mean specific responses are required in each location. The knowledge and skills to apply adaptation strategies appropriately, rather than generically, will be valued.
The damaging effects are already occurring: storm surges, cyclones and flooding affecting iconic assets. The size of WA and variety of assets mean we will have to apply a wide range of adaptive responses:
Conserving ecosystems and tourism in the tidal Kimberley
Designing industrial infrastructure in the cyclonic Pilbara
Protecting freeways in the storm-surge-affected Swan estuary
Managing residential retreat in along sandy South West coastlines
Knowing trends are accelerating, we can take precaution and act earlier than necessary. We have world-class expertise in this locally, and growing it proactively is a good strategy as we know it will be in increasing demand internationally.
From Colombo to Karachi, Mombasa to Mogadishu, there are millions of people and billions of dollars in assets around the Indian Ocean already being affected. It may be that their, and our, challenges are an export-earning, relationship-building opportunity we are uniquely positioned to realise.