Governments at the local to national level are often managers of tourism-recreation lands and other resources (e.g., national parks, reservoirs) and as such, governments utilize many of the technical climate adaptation strategies already discussed in the tourism operators section. A recent example includes government response to changes in the phenology of cherry trees in Japan. Japan's cherry blossom is a national symbol and the basis of a multi-million dollar flower viewing tourism industry. The timing of the peak bloom varies with the seasonal weather and recent warm springs have caused the peak bloom to occur too early for local festival organizers. The local government in Hirosaki have commissioned scientists to 'programme' the cherry bloom at the 'appropriate time' by experimenting with sprays and plant hormone injections as well as piling snow on the base of trees to slow the onset of blossoms (Parry 2005).
Governments at the local to national level are also involved to varying degrees in tourism product development and marketing and have used climate adaptations that might be thought of as business strategies. For example, the State of Florida allocated US$30 million to 'hurricane recovery' marketing following the devastating sequence of four hurricanes in 2004. The State also developed a weather insurance program for convention organizers, where it pays the premiums for US$200,000 insurance coverage for rescheduling costs associated with hurricane disruption (Pain 2005).
The regulatory role of government provides it with many important climate adaptation strategies. Many of these regulatory frameworks are not specific to the tourism-recreation sector and because they are discussed in other chapters of this volume, they are only identified here: coastal management plans and set back requirements, building design standards (e.g., for heating and cooling or hurricane force winds), emergency management (e.g., tourist warning systems, evacuation plans), environmental impact assessments (e.g., influencing adaptations such as snow-making and desalination plants), wildlife management (e.g., fish and game quotes), water quality standards (e.g., establish swimming bans), and wildfire management (e.g., set open fire bans in parks and campgrounds). Other areas of government policy could have important implications for tourism-recreation sector climate change adaptation in the future, including: establishment of a 12-month school year and post-Kyoto emission reduction targets and mitigation strategies that may affect tourist mobility and demand in some destination regions.
One of the most successful examples of the use of public education by government to adapt to climatic impacts has been the campaigns on the dangers of UV radiation. Governments around the world and international agencies like the World Health Organization (2002) have developed monitoring tools like the UV Index and combined them with adaptation recommendations for the public that have begun to have documented impacts on public perception of the desirability of a tan and the rates of some skin cancers in some countries. While these public education campaigns represent a public health adaptation and not a tourism-recreation sector specific adaptation, one of the principal target audiences for the UV Index messaging is those engaged in outdoor recreation, whether at the beach or in the backyard.
Climate change adaptation research and capacity building in the tourism-recreation sector has been funded by governments at all levels over the past 5 years (e.g., international - NATO, European Science Foundation, European Union, United Nations World Tourism Organization; national governments - Australia, Canada, Finland,
New Zealand, UK; local governments - City of Aspen [USA], Town of Banff [Canada]). Adaptation in the tourism sector remains a key knowledge gap and much more government supported research is needed and expected in the decades ahead, Nowhere is this need more glaring than in developing nations where adaptive capacity is thought to be lowest and where tourism is a major component of the economy (e.g., parts of the Caribbean, Africa, and many Small Island Developing States).
Like tourism operators, climate adaptation by governments typically involves multiple adaptations, which are sometimes integrated as part of a broad adaptation strategy. This integration of adaptations typically occurs at the agency level. Illustrative examples of integrated adaptation can be found in very diverse climatic environments. The range of climate adaptations already in use by the National Capital Commission in Canada for recreation land management and recreation-tourism programming (Table 8.1) provides an example in a temperate nation (Scott et al. 2005b). Here unreliable snow fall, variable spring thaw and growing degree days, and summer temperature extremes each pose challenges for tourism programming.
Table 8.1 Climate adaptations used in tourism programming by the National Capital Commission of Canada (Adapted from Scott et al. 2005b)
♦ Moved attractions/programming from ice to land locations
♦ Used refrigerated trucks for the ice sculpture carving contest
♦ Was converted from a 10-day event to a 3-weekend event to increase the probability of suitable weather during the celebration
♦ Implemented snowmaking at Snowflake Kingdom to ensure adequate snow supply
♦ Removed weeds from the canal that could weaken the ice structure (e.g., strength)
♦ Developed collaborations with local museums to offer package deals that promote non-climate-dependent activities
♦ Planted bulbs in shady locations
♦ Heavily mulched flower beds
♦ Erected snow fences to increase snow cover on flower beds to delay bulb maturation
♦ Planted bulbs with different rates of maturation
♦ Irrigated flower beds during warm/early springs to delay bulb maturation Canada day
♦ Educated the public about heat stress
♦ Provided shade tents and cooling stations
♦ Position medical staff on stand-by at major events Gatineau park
♦ Implemented snowmaking on alpine ski areas
♦ Developed a cross-country ski track setter for low-snow conditions
♦ Developed cross-country ski trails in shaded and smoothed-terrain areas that required less snow
♦ Implemented water quality advisory system in swimming areas
The Great Barrier Reef has experienced several mass coral bleaching events in the past decade (1998, 2002, and 2006). During the 1998 global mass bleaching event about 50% of Great Barrier reefs suffered bleaching; 87% of inshore reefs and 28% of mid-shelf and offshore reefs. Overall about 5% of reefs were severely damaged by this bleaching event (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2007a). The Great Barrier Reef suffered the largest mass bleaching event on record in 2002, when 60% of reefs were bleached (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2007a). The increasing threat of coral bleaching under projected climate change scenarios inspired the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to prepare a 'Coral Bleaching Response Plan' (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2007b), with the objectives to:
• Improve ability to predict bleaching risk
• Provide early warnings of major coral bleaching events
• Measure the spatial extent of bleaching
• Assess the ecological impacts of bleaching
• Involve the community in monitoring the health of the Reef
• Communicate and raise awareness about bleaching
• Evaluate the implications of bleaching events for management policy and strategies
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Ministry of Tourism have also considered other technical adaptations, including spraying cooler water from deeper areas onto ocean surface at peak heat times to cool surface waters and protect the corals from being damaged or using awnings or ambrella-like structures on bouys to shade corals in high visitation tourism areas (Sulaiman 2006; Badenschier and Schmitt 2006).
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Preparing for Armageddon, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Strikes, the Zombie Apocalypse, and Every Other Threat to Human Life on Earth. Most of us have thought about how we would handle various types of scenarios that could signal the end of the world. There are plenty of movies on the subject, psychological papers, and even survivalists that are part of reality TV shows. Perhaps you have had dreams about being one of the few left and what you would do in order to survive.