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What we are doing

Land

A resource kit focused on farmer perspectives, "Adapting to Climate Change in Eastern New Zealand - A farmer perspective", is available in all public libraries in the Bay of Plenty, or visit http://earthlimited.org/projects/accenz/accenzpubs/ to view.

Long-time Bay of Plenty residents may have noticed strange and interesting changes in the natural environment over the past few decades.
Any change in the climate will affect the habitat and distribution of plants, birds, insects and animals. Bay of Plenty Regional Council has studied the biotic effects of climate change in the region. Download the summary brochure and the report on the study below.

Water

We're continuing to research the potential effects of climate change. Climate change is included when assessing protection needs for flood schemes.

Coast

Bay of Plenty Regional Council works closely with Coast Care groups, which promote the restoration of coastal dunes, to enhance the natural buffer between coast and land.

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) best mid range estimate of sea-level rise has been adopted in the Bay of Plenty Regional Coastal Environment Plan (the IPCC mid range scenario (IS92a) estimate of 0.49 metres by the year 2100).

A recent review of the effect of climate change on the Bay of Plenty coastline (NIWA 2006) confirms that climatic variation can influence storminess, wave conditions sediment supply and coastal processes such as erosion. Future changes in climate will alter these processes in the coastal environment, but in many instances there needs to be more data to accurately assess impacts. This also applies to sea level rise which has been rising at a historical rate of around 1.8mm/year. Until more information becomes available on rates of vertical land movement throughout the Bay of Plenty and any acceleration that could occur with global climate change, then accurate local impact assessment is not possible. In the meantime the current global estimate is considered appropriate and it is recommended that for planning purposes an allowance of 0.5 m for 2100 is used (as currently adopted by plan).

The Coastal Plan encourages prudent land use planning and has an objective of "no increase in the total physical risk from coastal hazards".

Civil Defence and Emergency Management

The risk posed by some natural hazards is steadily increasing as a result of climate change. The natural hazards of concern are flooding, landslides, coastal erosion, storm surge and wind damage. Any increase in intensity will increase the amount of water to be held by a river channel and increase the amount of runoff from developed areas resulting in an increased risk of flooding.

The townships most at risk are those on the floodplains of the eastern Bay of Plenty, where ranges are close to the coastal plain and rivers rise rapidly. Increased rainfall intensity may result in an increased number of landslides and debris flows. An increase in extreme weather events will increase the risk of damage and erosion from storms.

Research

We're also taking part in case studies, and sharing information and knowledge with research institutions to better understand how to adapt to climate change. Current research partners include the International Global Change Institute (IGCI) and LandCare Research.