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Using CoastExchange: the CoastAdapt Online Forum

CoastExchange is an on-line forum for climate change adaptation professionals, providing opportunities to share experiences and build networks.

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At a glance

CoastExchange is an online forum being run by NCCARF as part of CoastAdapt. The forum (https://connect.coastadapt.com.au) is moderated on behalf of NCCARF by a consultancy, Scientell (http://scientell.com.au). Users must register to be able to post to the forum, making it a safe environment in which to share experiences and build networks. Discussions and information are also visible to unregistered users, allowing for wide dissemination of coastal adaptation information. The forum includes a panel of experts who answer adaptation questions submitted by forum contributors. 

Main text

As part of CoastAdapt, NCCARF is running an on-line forum called CoastExchange (https://connect.coastadapt.com.au/). The forum was launched on 1 April 2016, and will be operational until 30 June 2017. (It may continue for longer, depending on take-up and support).

CoastAdapt logoBy 1 June 2016 more than 100 people were registered to submit posts and engage in the discussions. In addition to these registrations, many more people read the discussions and news on the site.  

Here are a few notes on the intention of the CoastExchange forum, and why and how you might use it. We also list some examples of other forums on climate change adaptation you might like to visit. 

Why does CoastAdapt include an online forum?

The idea for an online forum was raised by coastal decision-makers. As a first step in developing CoastAdapt, NCCARF undertook extensive stakeholder consultation, in order to understand what potential users would find useful and accessible. This is documented in the report: Coastal Climate Risk Management Tool: Analysis of End User Needs.

One of the things that stakeholders emphasised to us was the need for a ‘community of practice’ that would provide opportunities for them to engage with, and learn from, their peers, and also provide access to the advice of independent experts. The most effective way to deliver such a community of practice within CoastAdapt is through an online forum. 

Why would you use it?

The CoastAdapt online forum, CoastExchange intends to bring together the community of coastal managers and decision-makers seeking to understand and plan for the effects of climate change and sea-level rise. The forum is moderated on behalf of NCCARF by science communication consultancy, Scientell. Users must register to be able to post to the forum, making it a safe environment in which to share experiences and build networks. Discussions and information are also visible to unregistered users, providing wide dissemination of coastal adaptation information.

The forum is a dynamic environment. As well as opportunities for discussion on relevant themes, it also includes feature stories about climate change adaptation, links to new publications, and climate change news from around Australia and the world. The forum aims to be a knowledge hub for Australian coastal adaptation.

CoastExchange includes an expert panel. From mid-June 2016, each month forum members are invited to submit questions. Two to three questions are selected to go forward to the panel. The expert panel will post answers on the forum and there will be an opportunity for further discussion.

How can you use CoastExchange?

You can use it to:

  • talk to your peers about your adaptation experiences
  • seek and offer advice
  • learn about what’s happening in adaptation – news, new papers, upcoming conferences, activities in the different Australian states and territories, etc.
  • read blogs and feature pieces.

One thing is certain – without your active participation, the forum won’t work. Be a contributor; don’t just be a lurker (https://connect.coastadapt.com.au/)!

What other climate adaptation forums are there?

weADAPT

https://www.weadapt.org/
The forum is developed and maintained by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). It is ‘an online “open space” on climate adaptation issues. It allows practitioners, researchers and policy-makers to access credible, high-quality information and connect with one another’.

Climate-Debate.com

http://www.climate-debate.com/
Not only on adaptation, this site presents an opportunity to discuss all aspects of climate change (including scepticism). It states: ‘This site is a neutral meeting place where everyone is invited to have their say on one of the most important discussions of our time.’

Asia-Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN)

http://www.asiapacificadapt.net/live-chat
This network is aimed more at the developing countries and emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Nevertheless, Australia is part of the region and can contribute and participate. APAN does not run a permanent forum. Rather it organises ‘The Exchange Series’, a series of distinct topics, with a lead scientist to kick off the discussion on each with an extended email. Each series runs for about two weeks. 

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