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Climate change is no longer just a concept.
Climate change was recognised as a significant challenge in ‘Strategic Directions 4 — for the Western Australian Sport and Recreation Industry (2006–2010)’. The document identified the following challenge: Sport and recreation interests must contribute to the assessment of the implication of climate change and its consequences, especially as they impact on the active lifestyles of Western Australians.1
There is now sufficient evidence available to governments and the community to seriously consider the implications of our changing weather patterns.
Indeed, the implications of climate change are bigger than we think.
While some people think that climate change is a problem for scientists to fix, the reality is that climate change is already forcing us to think differently about the simplest aspects of our lives.
This framework will help you to understand the implications of climate change and take you through a series of steps to help you and your organisation consider how climate change will affect sport and recreation in Western Australia.
Experts predict Western Australia’s climate will change in a number of major ways over the next 30 years.
And for sport and recreation this means ...
There may be additional impacts, threats and risks for our society and culture.
The framework will take you through a series of steps to help you and your organisation to consider how climate change will affect sport and recreation in Western Australia.
Below is a strategic framework that follows a logical sequence to help at an industry sector ororganisational level to respond to climate change.
The framework uses a series of integrated metropolitan and regional projects and actions across a range of climate change themes to develop appropriate responses.
A process known as adaptive scenario planning will document the outcomes of the various projects and evaluate their success. Over time, a suite of responses to climate change applicable across Western Australia will be available for the industry to apply.
This systematic approach will allow a timely review of the resource implications of actions undertaken within the framework. It will facilitate the orderly provision of resources together with a clear identification of contingencies required should worse-than-predicted climate change impacts be experienced.
The emerging influence of climate change may affect low-cost, regular community-based sport and recreation participation.
A further cost may be a diminished sense of community as a result of a lack of physical activity and reduced involvement of people in sport and recreation clubs.
The only certainty associated with climate change is that there will be greater uncertainty.
Climate change will be accompanied by a complex range of direct and indirect impacts with many unknown variables necessitating a range of socio-cultural/community responses.
The best model for strategic management in the face of complexity and uncertainty will be an industry framework for climate change.
Early intervention through strategies, policies and actions will provide cost-effective solutions. The industry must work in partnership to ensure these strategies work together and do not compete.
It is vital that urban green spaces are recognised as underpinning the very fabric of our sport, leisure and recreational industries and that water used to maintain them is considered to be necessary. Green spaces also mitigate the impacts of climate change.
As industry practitioners, it is essential that we demonstrate maximum water-use efficiency across all sectors and develop and maintain a culture of excellence and continuous improvement across all industry sectors.
Dr. D. Deeley and M. Casserly, Parks and Leisure Australia, Western Australian Branch.
This resource contains comments of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. No responsibility will be accepted by the Department of Sport and Recreation for loss occasioned to any person doing anything as a result of any material in this resource.December 2007ISBN: 978-0-9804210-1-9
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