Case study – Bega Valley

This case study was undertaken to build and demonstrate resilience investment capabilities in the Bega Valley. Combined with other case studies, this forms the basis for ramping up the development of national capabilities in enabling resilience investment.

Bega Valley has experienced catastrophic drought, bushfires, floods and a pandemic in the last five years, and these have had a cumulative impact. People have lived experience of disaster and want to look forward and have some agency in building the future they desire. Because of these circumstances people are at different stages of recovery and their recognition and willingness to reimagine their future and do things differently.

Work is needed to build on what exists and at a pace that is tractable for individuals and organisations. Furthermore, the science of climate change trajectories  is not sufficient to help society at large plan for a different way forward. We need evidence-based, credible imagined future pathways to start to build alternative, positive recovery and development trajectories forward.

Planning for an adaptive future in Bega Valley

In the first phase of the project, funded by Australian Climate Services (ACS), CSIRO, Value Advisory Partners and the University of Adelaide worked with local government, businesses, communities and NSW Government agencies to identify and assess investment opportunities in disaster risk reduction and sustainable development for a resilient Bega Valley. Through a process of open inquiry, listening, and active co-learning we designed project activities that contribute to recovery in a way that also builds capability for the future.

The Bega Valley case study – through the application of fundamental elements of the Enabling Resilience Investment framework – has shown possibilities for amplifying existing efforts by local and regional stakeholders to collaboratively do ‘disaster recovery’ differently. In doing so, this work has contributed to building a sense of agency in creating future opportunities and generated high-level options.

These options, once full developed, have the potential to reduce disaster risks, create and realise new value, and enable transitions towards well-adapted and disaster resilient futures.

The report Towards visions, options and pathways for an adaptive future in Bega Valley: Building national capability for Enabling Resilience Investment is now available.


What comes next?

The outcomes of this case study formed a solid basis for ongoing application of the Enabling Resilience Investment approach to progress the assessment of options and pathways so they are attractive to private and public sector investment.

The next stage of collaborative work, funded by the NSW Reconstruction Authority, is now underway with the Bega Valley Shire Council, State Government agencies and community groups and will involve:

  • Wider application of participatory visioning and adaptive options and pathways identification
  • Detailed work with smaller groups to support future investment in resilient assets and services.