Saturday, February 04, 2012

Government wants a flood of photos

From: NewsMail  by: Mike Derry

THE State Government wants residents to go out and take photos of the king tides as part of a project to highlight areas that are vulnerable to tidal flooding.

Photos of Monday’s king tides will help the government deal with changes as sea levels rise.

THE State Government wants Bundaberg residents to go out on Monday and take photos of the king tides as part of a project to highlight areas and infrastructure that are vulnerable to tidal flooding.

The king tide at Burnett Heads will happen on Monday at 8.42am.

Environment minister Vicky Darling wants people to get involved in the Witness King Tides interactive community event, with the big tides up and down the Queensland coast this weekend and on Monday.

"I encourage all Queenslanders to pick up their cameras and phones over the weekend, head out to your local beach or wetland and snap away," she said.

The website has information about the king tide events, outlines good spots along the coast to see the impact and has tips for taking useful photos.

"King tides give us an opportunity to see what our coast might look like in the future under conditions of sea level rise due to climate change," Ms Darling said.

"Taking photos of areas affected by king tides now is a great way of identifying vulnerable locations and involving the community in monitoring sea level change."

Anyone who takes photos on Monday can upload them to the new Witness King Tides web portal to share the images and create a visual database.

"We know that king tides are a natural phenomenon that occur twice a year and are not caused by climate change," Ms Darling said.

"We also know that high tides levels will become far more common as sea levels continue to rise."

Friday, February 03, 2012

Kincardine homes could be underwater in 20 years

From: Dunfermline Press by: Ally McRoberts

 

A LARGE swathe of Kincardine and more than 100 homes could be under water within the next 20 years, a report has warned.

Fife Council said the village was one of five locations in danger of being overwhelmed by sea level rises due to climate change and coastal erosion.

A new Fife Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) identified Kincardine as an area with the "highest number of properties at risk of tidal inundation in the first epoch, 0-20 years".

It said 103 properties were at risk in the village - the other areas are Tayport, Newburgh, Lower Largo to Anstruther and St Andrews to Guardbridge - but that beefing up sea defences and guarding against floods would be costly for the council and homeowners.

Councillor Tony Martin, the chair of the enterprise, environment and transportation committee that looked at the SMP yesterday (Thursday), said it was the responsible thing to highlight the issues now.

He said, "At the moment Fife Council has no funding for this work but we have a statutory duty to highlight these areas and it's right and proper we do that.

"We then need to see how we can work with other public bodies like the Scottish Government and Sepa and deal with the problem.

"When you put a report like this together you know there's going to be an adverse reaction, it is worrying, but if we didn't do this and face up to the facts about climate change and coastal erosion, it'd be even worse.

"I can understand people living in these areas having concerns but, for most people in Fife, any such problems are over 100 years away.

"The fact we're looking at addressing these issues now will hopefully give people some reassurance."

In a report due to go before the committee, Dr Bob McLellan, the head of transportation and environmental services, said, "The SMP has identified 1206 properties at risk and many areas of low-lying land which are currently at risk of tidal inundation over the next 20 years, rising to 2822 properties by 2110 as a result of sea level rise.

"Some of these are protected by existing defences which are in a variable condition.

"There will be financial implications for the council in the years ahead."

He continued, "In many areas, coastal erosion has been controlled by the

presence of coastal defences.

"The responsibility for maintenance of these defences rests with the landowner.

"Obtaining appropriate insurance for flooding and storm damage is a concern for property owners.

"The council also has a significant number of assets in the coastal zone which are at risk.

"The maintenance of these assets is the liability of the responsible service and the cost of maintaining these assets is likely to increase in response to sea level rise."

Councillors will be asked to approve the recommendations in the Fife SMP, which maps out the policies for coastal defence for the short- (20-year), medium- (50-year) and long-term (100-year) and shows shoreline erosion over the past 150 years and the predicted erosion over the next century.

It also contains an action plan and the shoreline has been split into 58 'policy units' from Kincardine to Newburgh with four options considered for each unit.

These are: maintain the shoreline at the current position; reclaim land by building seaward of the existing shoreline; allow change in a controlled manner to limit movement; decide not to maintain existing defences or build new defences.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Climate hotspot: sea level rise threatens millions in Mekong Delta rice belt

From: The Ecologist

 

Some 60 million people depend on the Mekong River for their livelihoods but sea level rise and severe weather puts the area at risk, as Gratianne Quade's unique film shows

The Mekong River flows through six countries-originating in the Tibetan Plateau, it runs through Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and finally meets the ocean at the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam.

It irrigates and fertilises the world's biggest rice-exporting fields, provides 20 per cent of the world's freshwater fish-yield, and generates thousands of megawatts of electricity via hydropower dams.

It is estimated that more than 60 million people depend on the river for their livelihood.

Tran Mai Kien PhD, Climate Change Programme Officer, Environment Division, Mekong River Commission says, 'The biggest challenges due to climate change that the Mekong region faces are sea level rise and the changes in weather patterns and the increase of intensity and frequency of natural disasters. And water resources will be a serious problem for the next century'.

According to a study released by the Earth Institute at Columbia University, a one meter sea level rise could displace some 7 million people in the Mekong Delta.

The film was produced by Gratianne Quade

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Spending and Market-Based Tools to Address Sea-Level Rise in Hawaii (Part 3)

From: Honolulu Civil Beat

Editor's note: This is the final installment of a three-part series on how Hawaii should address climate change and sea-level rise.

Part 1 of this editorial series introduced climate change and sea-level rise adaptation and highlighted three major recommendations for state action to facilitate preparations for sea-level rise. Part 2 discussed planning and regulatory tools for initiating sea-level rise adaptation in Hawai‘i at the state and county level. This segment discusses spending and market-based tools and provides a conclusion to this three-part series.

Spending Tools

  • Capital Improvement Programs. Hawai‘i state and local governments provide funding for capital improvement programs (CIPs) to invest in transportation, schools, parks, and other public projects. By executive order or legislation, the state could require state agencies to consider a range of sea-level rise scenarios when siting and designing CIPs, similar to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ method for planning and developing its civil works programs. This would promote public safety and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

  • Land Acquisitions and Conservation Easements. The state Legacy Land Conservation Program, often in partnership with private and non-profit land trusts, acquires and conserves land for public purposes such as watershed protection, beach access, protection of cultural and historical sites, habitat protection, parks and recreation, and agriculture. When selecting acquisition and conservation lands, decision-makers could consider areas vulnerable to inundation due to flooding and sea-level rise, which could protect public health and safety while also preserving open space along the shoreline.

Market-Based Tools

  • Mandatory Real Estate Disclosures. State law requires sellers of residential real property to disclose certain material facts, such as flood insurance and utility bill information, to prospective buyers. For coastal real property sales, the law could require disclosure of available site-specific erosion and sea-level rise information (i.e., data and maps). This approach would allow prospective buyers to better weigh the costs and benefits of obtaining property located in hazardous areas.

  • Transfer of Development Rights Programs. Transfer of development rights (TDR) programs allow landowners to sell their rights to develop properties located where development is less desirable (in this case, makai areas) to individuals owning properties located where development is more desirable (in this case, mauka areas). Buyers may use credits to exceed building requirements such as density, floor area, and height. Maui County is currently considering a TDR program to acquire shoreline lands and encourage landward development. Other counties could likewise research and consider TDR programs for sea-level rise adaptation. This approach, as opposed to a strictly regulatory approach, could fulfill planning goals for retreat while also addressing coastal property owner concerns regarding property rights and values.

  • Tax Incentives. Various state laws incentivize renewable energy and energy efficiency to reduce climate emissions and dependency on imported oil. To encourage sea-level rise adaptation, the state could incentivize landward relocation, retrofitting that increases flood resiliency, siting new development in upland areas, and conserving open space and natural flood buffers along the shoreline.

Conclusion

Adaptation to sea-level rise requires leadership and bold action by Hawai‘i state and local governments. Decision-makers can utilize a wide range of policy tools and measures to shape Hawai‘i’s plans for coastlines over the coming decades. Some tools — such as shoreline construction setbacks, zoning, capital improvement programs, and mandatory real estate disclosures — are well established and widely employed. With the necessary data and maps, decision-makers can integrate these policy tools to prepare appropriately.

Emerging and innovative approaches to sea-level rise adaptation such as rolling easements statutes and TDR programs, though not commonly applied in Hawai‘i, offer robust and flexible options for planners and decision-makers. When facing barriers and political opposition to implementing these measures, decision-makers could consider how inaction would negatively impact public health and safety and Hawai‘i’s unique natural and cultural resources.

Several factors outside the Hawai‘i state and local regulatory scheme also could influence sea-level rise adaptation. For example, the private insurance industry is currently assessing climate change impacts on policies for weather-related damage, which could affect coverage and rates in hazard-prone areas such as Florida. Additionally, if the Federal Emergency Management Agency updates Flood Insurance Rate Maps to incorporate climate change sea-level rise projections, many state and county regulations also would require updates.

Climate change presents some of the greatest and most complex challenges of our time. Regardless of how we address climate change and sea-level rise, we must bear in mind that our approaches will require flexibility to accommodate new science and information as well as collaboration across many sectors and disciplines. With strong leadership and careful planning backed by best-available science, Hawai‘i could serve as a global model of sound hazard resiliency for present and future generations.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hawaii Planning and Regulatory Tools To Adapt to Sea-Level Rise ( Part 2)

From: Honololulu Civil Beat

Editor's note: This is the second installment of a three-part series on how Hawaii should address climate change and sea-level rise. To read Part 1, click here. To read Part 3, click here.

Part 1 of this editorial series introduced climate change and sea-level rise adaptation and highlighted three major recommendations for state action to facilitate preparations for sea-level rise: adopting a sea-level rise planning benchmark, expanding climate research, and designating an agency to lead adaptation efforts. This segment details planning and regulatory tools for initiating sea-level rise adaptation.

 

Planning Tools

State and county decision-makers could consider using three existing planning tools — the Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Act (HCZMA), Comprehensive Plans (i.e., state plans, county general plans, and sustainable community plans), and Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plans — to prepare for sea-level rise.

Hawai‘i Coastal Zone Management Act. The HCZMA, codified in Chapter 205A of the Hawai ‘i Revised Statutes, is an important planning tool for regulating development and land use within the coastal zone. The Act already contains objectives and policies for protecting life and property from coastal hazards and storm surge but could be amended to more directly address sea-level rise impacts. For example, South Carolina’s Coastal Zone Management Act now includes policies for retreating from the coastline to adapt to erosion caused by sea-level rise. In Rhode Island, the Coastal Resources Management Program requires consideration of 3 to 5 feet of sea-level rise by 2100 in siting, designing, and implementing coastal activities.

Comprehensive Plans. State, county, and community plans could similarly address sea-level rise. The State Office of Planning’s proposed climate change adaptation priority guidelines for the 2012 legislative session could represent an important first step for initiating statewide adaptation planning. In 2010, Maui County included policies for addressing sea-level rise into the county general plan.

Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plans. Under the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides funding to state and local governments to develop plans for preparing for and building resiliency to natural hazards. The state and four counties have participated in the program in various capacities. PDM plans could account for sea-level rise and climate change, which worsen existing coastal hazards such as erosion and flooding.

Regulatory Tools

ICAP has also identified fourteen regulatory tools for addressing sea-level rise. These tools are: zoning and overlay zones, floodplain regulations, shoreline construction setbacks, coastal construction control lines, hard armoring, rebuilding restrictions, building codes and resilient design, subdivision approvals, cluster development, land development conditions, environmental review, rolling easement statutes, non-structural armoring, and buffer zones. The following highlights a handful of tools that decision-makers could begin using now as well as those that could be effective with further information or research.

Regulatory Tools to Implement Now.

  • Shoreline Construction Setbacks. Setbacks indicate the closest distance to the shoreline where development may be permitted. Decision-makers could replace the state maximum setback of 40 feet with setbacks that incorporate not only variable rates of shoreline erosion and the lifespan of structures, as Maui and Kaua‘i counties have already done, but also sea-level rise due to climate change. This would build resiliency to current and future coastal erosion by keeping development at a safe and scientifically-based distance from the shoreline.

  • Building Codes and Resilient Design. State and county building codes and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) resilient design standards include detailed requirements for building within coastal areas. These regulations could account for future increases in sea level and flooding by requiring or incentivizing more protective building practices such as increased ground-floor elevation. Under the NFIP Community Rating System, homeowners can qualify for insurance discounts and credits when counties adopt floodplain management regulations that are more stringent than federal requirements.

  • Cluster Development. Cluster development ordinances allow concentrated development in certain areas of a tract in exchange for preserving open space. In general, the counties allow cluster development to promote economical use of services and utilities and affordable housing development. The counties could amend ordinances to allow cluster development for the purpose of accommodating increased inundation due to sea-level rise. For example, counties could grant density bonuses for developing upland areas of a tract in exchange for preserving low-lying makai areas as open space. This approach would provide incentives for developing further landward.

Regulatory Tools Requiring Further Information or Research.

  • Sea-Level Rise Zoning and Overlay Zones. Once the necessary research, data, and mapping becomes available so that decision-makers can identify vulnerable areas and infrastructure on a site-specific basis, the counties could consider adopting sea-level rise overlay zones for regulating shoreline development. The counties could designate: (1) protection zones, or areas containing critical infrastructure and dense urban development, where coastal armoring such as sea-walls would be permitted; (2) accommodation zones, or areas where new development would be limited and subject to more protective design requirements; (3) retreat zones, or areas where coastal armoring would be prohibited and landowners would be encouraged to relocate upland; and (4) preservation zones, or areas where natural flood buffers such as sand dunes and wetlands would be preserved and restored. This type of zoning regime would allow decision-makers to tailor adaptation approaches to accommodate area-specific resources and vulnerabilities.

  • Coastal Construction Control Lines. Coastal construction control lines (CCCLs) could be useful for ensuring safe development along beaches subject to fluctuations such as Kailua Beach, which has been experiencing accretion in some parts and erosion in others. Under current setback laws, building lines fluctuate with shoreline changes so that if accretion occurs, structures may be built farther seaward, thus increasing exposure to coastal hazards. CCCLs could resolve these problems because, unlike setbacks, CCCLS are fixed and pre-recorded construction lines that do not change with shoreline fluctuations. The Kailua Beach and Dune Management Plan provides a model for developing CCCL programs, where appropriate, in Hawai‘i.

  • Rolling Easement Statutes. The term rolling easement refers to a combination of land use policies that: (1) allow beaches and wetlands to migrate landward, (2) restrict hard armoring, and (3) promote removal of structures and retreat from the coastline. These elements can be achieved by combining various policy tools. Texas, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Maine have adopted rolling easement policies. If a more comprehensive approach to retreating from the coastline is desired, decision-makers could research implementing a rolling easement policy to meet Hawai‘i’s unique needs and circumstances.

State leadership, particularly the three major recommendations for state action discussed in Part 1 of this series, would support many of these planning and regulatory tools. Decision-makers could begin implementing management tools that address imminent threats to life and safety while keeping others in mind for addressing long-term risks posed by continued climate change.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How Hawaii Should Address Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise (Part 1)

 

From: Honolulu Civil Beat

Center for Island Climate Adaption & Policy

Editor's note: This is the first installment of a three-part series on how Hawaii should address climate change and sea-level rise.

During the 2012 Hawaii legislative session, the State Office of Planning will introduce a bill that proposes adding climate change adaptation priority guidelines to the State Plan. These priority guidelines would prepare the state for assessing climate change impacts on various sectors including agriculture, coastal and near shore marine areas, water resources, education, energy, health, and the economy.

Because the State Planning Act generally requires state and county programs, plans, and decision-making to conform to priority guidelines, adopting this measure could be a crucial first step for providing state leadership in addressing climate change adaptation.

Climate change adaptation builds resilience and reduces vulnerability to impacts such as reduced rainfall, increased storm intensity, and sea-level rise — all of which we are experiencing in Hawai‘i. Although Hawai‘i has been a leader in its efforts to mitigate climate change by mandating greenhouse gas emissions reductions and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, the state has yet to comprehensively initiate climate change adaptation. Because the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, finished last month without establishing binding international commitments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, policy makers at all levels of government now face added pressure and social responsibility to develop climate change adaptation strategies.

Decision-makers could prioritize sea-level rise adaptation because our economy and way of life rely heavily upon Hawai‘i’s shorelines and beaches. Sea-level rise may worsen existing coastal erosion, high tide flooding, and drainage problems, which already have caused millions of dollars in damage to businesses and homes. Sea-level rise also could increase coastal vulnerability to wave inundation, hurricanes, and tsunamis. Hawai‘i sea levels have been rising for the past century, and rates are expected to accelerate with continued climate change. Scientific research indicates that global mean sea level may rise between 1 and 3 feet or more during this century. Using best-available science, Hawai‘i state and local decision-makers can begin planning for a conservative sea-level rise of approximately 1 foot by 2050 and 3 feet by 2100.

Sea-level rise adaptation generally involves three basic approaches:

  • Accommodation. Adjustment of existing systems to changing conditions (e.g., amending flood-proofing regulations to require or incentivize increased ground-floor elevation of structures).
  • Protection. Hardening of a system in its existing location to withstand impacts from changing conditions (e.g., shoreline hardening such as seawalls and revetments).
  • Retreat. Relocating existing structures to avoid impacts.

The approach or combination of approaches used for adapting to sea-level rise will vary on a case-by-case basis. For example, coastal portions of the Kamehameha Highway on O‘ahu’s North Shore could require protection because the surrounding areas lack adequate space for retreat. On the other hand, the Hawai‘i Islands Land Trust is currently working on purchasing land to accommodate the mauka relocation of a coastal section of the Honoapi‘ilani Highway located on Maui’s lower West Side. The project also would create eight miles of open park space along the shoreline.

Even without comprehensive state leadership, sea-level rise has been “on the radar” in Hawai‘i. The 2010 Kailua Beach and Dune Management Plan, developed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program, details goals, objectives, and implementation actions for adapting to sea-level rise on Kailua Beach. Also in 2010, Maui County incorporated sea-level rise adaptation into its county general plan by including policies for restricting development in areas prone to natural hazards, disasters, and sea-level rise. Last summer, 1,608 of 2,169 survey respondents (74.2 percent) on the forthcoming O‘ahu 2035 General Plan Update agreed that policies addressing the effects of sea-level rise are important considerations for updating the plan. The Department of Transportation, Harbors Division, incorporated a study assessing sea-level rise impacts on harbors and surrounding roadways in the August 2011 Hawai‘i Island Commercial Harbors 2035 Master Plan. DLNR has begun planning for climate change impacts on the state’s watersheds to protect Hawai‘i’s freshwater resources in The Rain Follows the Forest: A Plan to Replenish Hawai‘i’s Source of Water (November 2011).

Although these diverse initiatives could provide important guidance and support for future adaptation efforts, comprehensive measures are necessary to ensure safe, efficient, and well-informed use and development of Hawai‘i’s shorelines. In Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Land Use in Hawai‘i: A Policy Tool Kit for State and Local Governments, the University of Hawai‘i Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy (ICAP) identifies three major recommendations for state government action to facilitate sea-level rise adaptation, discussed below. The tool kit also details 24 policy tools (planning, regulatory, spending, and market-based), that state and local decision-makers could utilize to begin adapting to sea-level rise, to be discussed in parts 2 and 3 of this editorial series.

 

Three Major Recommendations for State Government Action

Direct state agencies — by executive order or legislation — to incorporate a sea-level rise benchmark of 1-foot-by-2050 and 3-feet-by 2100 in planning and decision-making. This benchmark would spearhead necessary statewide sea-level rise adaptation planning and could be reevaluated to accommodate updated climate science. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers now requires consideration of three sea-level rise scenarios in all phases of its civil works projects. In 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger issued an executive order requiring California state agencies to consider a range of sea-level rise scenarios for 2050 and 2100 when planning construction projects in vulnerable areas.

Support expanded sea-level rise research. Further research is necessary for decision-makers and property owners to understand the potential impacts of sea-level rise on a site-specific basis. Researchers at the University of Hawai‘i are currently generating maps that indicate vulnerable areas based on 1-foot increment sea-level rise scenarios up to 6 feet for the State’s entire coastline. Statewide research on sea-level rise variability, risks and vulnerabilities, federal funding and partnership opportunities, and outreach programs would strengthen adaptation efforts.

Designate a lead agency or establish a task force charged with initiating statewide climate change and sea-level rise adaptation planning. Such leadership would facilitate coordination and collaboration between various agencies and stakeholders and promote consistency among adaptation planning efforts. A lead agency or task force could, among other initiatives, create a statewide vision for sea-level rise adaptation.

These state actions would bolster numerous adaptation initiatives at the state and county level and by a range of stakeholders and individuals.


DISCUSSION: What do you think about the three major recommendations for state action on climate change and sea-level rise? Share your thoughts on this op-ed below.

About the author: As a focal point for University of Hawai‘i climate law and policy expertise, the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy (ICAP) serves as a two-way conduit between the university and island communities and decision-makers to catalyze climate change adaptation and resiliency. Contributors to this editorial series include ICAP affiliates from a range of backgrounds such as climate science, coastal planning, climate change law, and urban and regional planning. Much of the material was adapted from ICAP’s recent publication, Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Land Use in Hawai‘i: A Policy Tool Kit for State and Local Governments (available at http://icap.seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/icap-publications), by Douglas Codiga and Kylie Wager.

Posted by Center for Island Climate Adaptation & Policy on 01/17/2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sea wall proposal clears first barrier

From: Torres News Online

THE Torres Strait Island Regional Council’s application to the Federal Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund for money for sea walls has cleared the first stage of the approval process. On Wednesday, January 11, the RDAF announced the proposal was one of three in the Far North still with a shot at securing a share of $200 million in Commonwealth cash for new projects in regional Australia. Last December, TSIRC applied for $5 million through round two of the RDAF to help rebuild seawalls on Boigu and Saibai to protect those communities from flooding in king tides.

However required works for all six islands in the Torres Strait affected by rising sea levels have been costed at $22.4 million. A TSIRC spokesperson said the council was pleased its expression of interest had made it through the first round.
“Obviously we hope our submission will be successful so we can move on with the necessary upgrades to community infrastructure on Boigu and Saibai,” the spokesperson said.
RDA Far North Queensland and Torres Strait chairman Allan Dale said the announcement of the projects going to full application provided an opportunity to further demonstrate how the projects would meet the needs of the region.
“The quality of the projects received in our region was very high, making it a difficult choice between many worthy options,” Dr Dale said.
“Many of the projects submitted make a great contribution to progression of the Far North Queensland and Torres Strait Roadmap and we will be continuing to work with both Governments to see them progressed over time.”
He said TSIRC’s sea walls project was just one of three projects “critically important for our region”.
The two other Far North projects chosen to proceed to the next stage include a proposal to upgrade the Hann Highway, and a proposal to rebuild the Malanda visitors and interpretive centre.
“While providing a lifeline for new mining, agricultural and pastoral development in the Gulf, the Hann Highway proposal also improves the region’s overall freight reliability,” Dr Dale said.
“Equally, after much feasibility work, the Torres Strait sea walls proposal would provide much needed infrastructure to secure the future of island communities now at risk from sea level rise.
“Finally, the Rainforest Dreaming proposal would provide a boost to the region’s tourism industry.
“These projects have a strong level of community support, will have a positive long-term impact on our region and neighbouring regions and are ready to proceed.”
In August, the Federal government backed a motion by Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch to “commit to restore and rebuild the damaged seawalls on the outer islands of the Torres Strait”.
However in November, 2011, the Federal Government backflipped, with Minister for Regional Australia Simon Crean saying the works were a matter for the local and state governments.
Mr Entsch told the Torres News last Thursday that forcing TSIRC to jump through the RDAF hoops “a sick joke”.
“Minister Crean previously told me, and told Mayor Gela, that the government was not going to fund the sea walls out of the RDAF,” Mr Entsch said.
“They have just allocated even more money to micro Pacific nations to shore up their response to climate change.
“All they are doing is playing for time, and meanwhile more of the cemetery at Saibai is being washed into the sea.”
Last year TSIRC Mayor Fred Gela warned Prime Minister Julia Gillard that residents on the outer islands were at risk of becoming Australia’s “first climate change refugees”.