December 13, 2016

Preparing to meet the challenge of climate change – launch of Torres Strait Regional Adaptation and Resilience Plan

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) in partnership with the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) and the Torres Shire Council (TSC) has launched the Torres Strait Regional Adaptation and Resilience Plan.
The Torres Strait Regional Adaptation and Resilience Plan 2016-2021 highlights specific challenges that climate change poses to life in the region, and identifies a suite of actions required to enable the region to adapt and respond.
The Torres Strait is recognised as being on the front line of climate change impacts, particularly the impacts of sea level rise on low lying island communities.
TSRA Chairperson, Mr Pedro Stephen AM, said Torres Strait people are very aware of how sea level rise might impact our homes and culture.
“This Plan highlights that climate change also has important implications for our health and economy and the need for adequate investment and a whole of government response in order to meet the challenge,” Mr Stephen said.
TSIRC Mayor, Mr Fred Gela, said as leaders we acknowledge and understand the risks climate change poses to our way of life and culture.
“We are determined to take a proactive position to ensure we put in place the right planning, thinking and actions to ensure our region meets these challenges head on and remains strong,” Mr Gela said.
The Plan focuses on both reducing climate risks as well as building community resilience.
TSC Mayor, Mrs Vonda Malone, said communities who suffer from a range of socio-economic vulnerabilities such as those in the Torres Strait are likely to experience higher level of impacts compared to communities who don’t have these vulnerabilities.
“Climate change is not just an environmental issue, it’s a human rights and Indigenous social justice issue,” Mrs Malone said.

The Plan highlights that fully integrating sustainability and resilience into community development is
critical to building adaptive capacity and resilience within communities. Responding to climate
change will require strong integration and collaboration across our region
For further information or a copy of the Adaptation and Resilience Plan for the Torres Strait, please
visit the TSRA website on or contact TSRA’s Land and Sea Management Unit on
07 4069 0700.