The precautionary approach applies when a potentially serious risk exists alongside scientific uncertainty. This allows us to consider some risks as unacceptable not because their occurrence is probable, but because their consequences may be severe or irreversible.
This does not mean that we are reacting to a 3.5 degree Celsius warmer world right now, but that we are planning and building resilience, so that we are ready if this happens.
Our approach to flexible planning and adaptation, in the face of uncertainty and changing conditions, is called Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways (DAPP) planning.
Prioritising adaptation action
Adaptation is often thought of as a future issue, but without action now we risk far greater financial and human costs into the future.
Some key areas we need to prioritise
- Development of long-term, strategic approaches to change that keep options open, e.g. DAPP.
- Community and business engagement and empowerment, focusing on those impacted the most.
- Ensuring climate change is a key consideration in decisions that have the potential to lock us into poor resilience outcomes in the long term.
- Addressing immediate, known risks that are affecting Aucklanders today.
- Establishing strong partnerships and governance that allows complex decision making, and for a variety of voices to be heard.
- Addressing research gaps that are preventing adaptive action.
These areas of focus are reflected in the priorities of this plan.
To measure the progress, we continue to develop adaptation targets and indicators, as we establish baselines and continue to learn from experience.