Protected areas and the natural environment deliver a wide range of ecosystem services that contribute to human wellbeing. Here we examine the value of protected areas for cyclone and coastal protection in Queensland, Australia. Natural events such as cyclones threaten the health or wellbeing of human society however we can plan to minimize their impacts. Sea level rise, as well as an increase in cyclone intensity and storm surges associated with climate change will result in the erosion of shores and habitats, increased salinity of estuaries and freshwater aquifers, altered tidal ranges in rivers and bays, changes in sediment and transport, and amplified risk of coastal flooding that, in turn, will increase the vulnerability of coastal populations. Coastal wetlands, such as mangroves and floodplains, barrier islands and coastal vegetation all play a critical role in reducing the impacts of floodwaters produced by coastal storm events and tropical cyclones as well as in physically buffering climate change impacts. In an era when mankind’s activities are the dominant force influencing biological communities and ecosystems, proper management requires understanding of the pattern and process in biological systems and development of assessment and evaluation procedures that assure protection of biological resources. That assessment must also include the value of ecosystem services and the role they play in disaster and risk reduction.
|Title of host publication||Safe Havens: Protected Areas for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation|
|Editors||Radhika Murti & Camille Buyck|
|Place of Publication||Gland, Switzerland|
|Publisher||International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|