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Flood Defence

Work has begun on the £15m Medmerry sea defence scheme

Construction of an innovative £15m sea defence project, to protect 300 properties and a water treatment works, along the Medmerry coast from the threat of flooding began in November and is expected to be completed in Spring 2013.

Over 7km of new sea defences situated further inland than the existing shingle bank, will be constructed. The scheme will also create important new wildlife rich wetlands to offset the anticipated loss of protected intertidal habitats in the Solent over the coming 100 years. It will also open up carefully devised new public access for local communities and visitors to enjoy.

Medmerry is currently one of the stretches of

coastline most at risk of flooding in southern England. The shingle bank at Medmerry requires expensive maintenance each winter, which is not able to prevent coastal flooding during major storms. With our climate changing and sea levels rising, the risks and the number of people affected is likely to increase.

Andrew Gilham, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, said: “I am very pleased that work has now started to provide long term flood protection to this vulnerable stretch of coastline. I would like to thank the community for their support in getting us to this point and to ask for their understanding while construction is taking place.

“Input from the community has been invaluable in

shaping the way in which the project will be delivered as well as their enthusiasm on the added environmental benefits it will bring to the area. We will continue to work closely with community groups, local authorities and our partner environmental organisations, such as the RSPB, throughout construction of this ambitious project.”

The scheme covers the area of more than 300 football pitches, and will include new public footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways, two small car parks and four viewpoints. Once the project is completed, the Environment Agency will continue to manage the flood defence structures, and the RSPB will manage the wildlife habitats and access.

Climate Change Report highlights the flood risks if action is not taken

The findings of a major new scientific assessment of climate change was published yesterday, highlighting the effects the world could face if global temperature changes are not limited to two degrees.

The assessment was commissioned by Chris Huhne, the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and lead by the Met Office Hadley Centre studied 24 different countries, from developed to developing. It notes that all the countries in the study have warmed since the 1960s and that the occurrence of extremely warm temperatures has increased whilst extremely cold temperatures have become less frequent.

If emissions are left unchecked, the report says temperatures would rise generally between three and five degrees Celsius this century. This could be accompanied by significant changes in rainfall patterns, leading in many cases to increased pressure on crop production, water stress and flood risks.

Chris Huhne said:

“This report highlights some of the very real dangers we face if we don’t limit emissions to combat the rise in global temperature. Life for millions of people could change forever, with water and food supplies being placed in jeopardy and homes and livelihoods under threat. This makes the challenge of reducing emissions ever more urgent.

“The UK wants a legally binding global agreement to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees. If this is achieved this study shows that some of the most significant impacts of climate change could be reduced significantly. By the end of this week we need to see progress to move towards this goal.”

Richard Jones, Manager of Regional Climate Change Research at the Met Office Hadley Centre said:

“Projections of climate change impacts often fall in a wide range which can include both beneficial and detrimental outcomes. This study has begun the important work of applying a globally consistent approach to assess the impacts of climate change at the national level.

EA Wales to become part of a

single Environment Body The welsh government has announced that the Environment Agency Wales, the Countryside Council for Wales and Forestry Commission Wales are to be merged into a single body.

The three environment bodies are expected to be up and running, as one, from the 1st April 2012 and it is estimated that the move could save up to £158 million over 10 years

Environment minister John Griffiths said: "Having carefully considered the business case, I am convinced the establishment of a single environmental body will ensure the most sustainable and effective management of Wales' natural resources."

The heads of all three organisations welcomed the announcement.

Key findings:

All countries studied show an increase in the number of people at risk from coastal flooding due to sea level rise. By the end of the century, in the worst case scenario, up to about 49 million additional people could be at risk, with the majority being in Bangladesh, China, India, Egypt and Indonesia;

The majority of countries studied are projected to see a significant increased risk of river flooding;

The production of staple food crops may decline in parts of Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Russia, Turkey, and the USA. In some cases, crop yield increases may be expected for example in Germany and Japan. Food security is highlighted as a growing risk before 2040 in Bangladesh and India;

Water resources are threatened by drought and growing demand. Areas highlighted as likely to suffer increased water stress include parts of Italy, France and the southwest USA. In some cases however, water stress may decline in some regions.

The reports can be viewed on the Met Office website:


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