The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) conferences have been great forums to understand where we are at as a nation in adapting to a changing climate. Previous conferences have charted the way in which climate change adaptation, once seen as a scientific or environmental concern, requires integration of the social sciences, upon the recognition that people are central to climate change action.
Creativity was a strong theme at this year’s conference in Adelaide, with ideas and experiences shared about the importance of narratives, storytelling, song and imagery. We are increasingly aware that while knowledge is central to taking action to adapt, creative approaches such as those provided by the art and design fields can help win over hearts as well as minds, and increase people’s engagement with the issues associated with climate change.
The value of connecting hearts and minds was evident across the conference, including the Great Debate where URPS Director and member of the Premier’s Climate Change Council Nicole Halsey emphasised that people living in the regions have always been creative, innovative and adaptable in the face of extremes. Similarly, Michael Arman’s presentation about his work in the Philippines illustrated that even in a very different context, people are more likely to make decisions to adapt when it becomes apparent that climate change will impact on what is most important to them. URPS Senior Associate Anna Pannell also spoke at the conference, sharing learnings from a number of regional climate change adaption plans around the State about the way data is being used to better understand the layers of vulnerability and target adaptation actions where they are needed most
And of course, there is nothing that engages hearts and minds as much as coffee, and URPS was pleased to be a sponsor again, this year through the all-important provision of coffee and ’keep’ cups.