Dr John Church, one of the world’s leading experts on sea level rise, will be a keynote speaker at the 2015 Australian Coastal Councils Conference, to be held on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, in March next year.

Download the conference registration brochure here 
2015 Australian Coastal Councils Conference BROCHURE

Dr Church is a CSIRO Fellow with the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research and was the coordinating lead author for the chapter on sea level rise in the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

At the release of the latest IPCC report he said sea level is going to rise more than projected in the previous 4th Assessment Report. “The top of the range of scenarios of sea level rise by 2100 is now 98cms and the bottom of the range is just over 40cms,” he told ABC Radio. “It is absolutely clear that sea level will continue to rise and rise at an increased rate during the 21st Century if we continue on a ‘business as usual’ basis.”

At the 2015 conference, Dr Church will discuss the implications of the latest IPPC findings on sea level rise and the current projections of future rises in sea level. He will attend the conference for the full three days and will be available during this time to answer questions from delegates.

Coastal issues information ‘exchange’

Barry Sammels, Chair of the National Sea Change Taskforce, said one of the highlights at the conference will be a coastal issues ‘exchange’, which will provide a forum for delegates from coastal councils to exchange information on coastal issues they are currently dealing with. “One of the benefits of being part of the Taskforce is the opportunity to network with coastal councils who are facing the same sort of coastal management issues as our own councils,” he said.

“The coastal issues exchange provides an opportunity for councils to identify problem issues and discuss these directly with other councils that have had experience at dealing with the same issues. There will be two such exchanges in the program – one for metropolitan coastal councils and another for councils in regional areas.”

Barry Sammels said the Mornington Peninsula has coastal frontages to Port Phillip, Westernport and Bass Strait, which provides numerous case studies of coastal processes and impacts. “It is close enough for people based in Melbourne to commute on a daily basis, and there are numerous activities for partners of delegates,” he said.

The Taskforce will shortly call for entries for the 2015 Australian Coastal Awards, which were introduced earlier this year to acknowledge the achievement of individuals and organisations that have made a significant contribution to the Australian coastal environment, settlements and sustainability.