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Adapting to change: building social-ecological resilience in the coastal zone

Principal Investigator: Nursey-Bray

Despite the implementation of many management regimes across the world, particularly the application of integrated coastal zone management, the coast remains under pressure, and its resources still experiencing deterioration. The emergence of climate change adds complexity to this situation and further underscores the need for effective management. The relationship between natural and social systems is as important as ever. This theme will drive research that will aim to build links between the social and natural domains to enhance social ecological resilience.  The importance and operation in practice of knowledge systems, how people perceive risk in coastal contexts, how different cultures within the coast may affect/influence wider resilience, and whether adaptive/social learning may play a role in the creation of coastal policy will be considered in this context. Coastal communities are facing the need to adapt to change, yet doing so at local levels is a core challenge. As such, research in this theme will also examine the role ‘on ground’ initiatives play in building the adaptive capacity and resilience of coastal communities.  Nursey-Bray was part of an Australian case study for an Asia Pacific Network (APN) for Global Change Research project to determine whether co-management builds adaptive capacity.  This is the third phase of the Global Development Network’s Global Research Capacity Building Program.  Other APN case studies were conducted simultaneously in Cambodia and Vietnam.


A journal paper (in prep), conference paper at governance conference in December, Canberra and an APN project report.


Centre for Coastal Research

The Centre for Coastal Research is no longer active. For all coastal research matters, please contact Professor Nick Harvey.