Natasha Kuruppu has more than 10 years’ experience in environmental management. She currently works across ISF’s climate change adaptation and water research areas as a project manager and researcher on projects promoting policy reform, integrated resource planning and sustainable resource management.
One of Natasha’s areas of expertise is in the areas of climate change adaptation in the water sector and its interactions with development. She recently undertook Doctoral research in the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati, examining the process of enhancing the adaptive capacity of water management. This work was part of a national Kiribati Adaptation Project funded through the UNFCCC and administered by the World Bank, and aims to integrate adaptation within climate vulnerable sectors.
Natasha also recently project managed and co-led two national adaptation research projects examining cross-scale barriers to adaptation within local government, and the adaptive capacity of small businesses in Australia. She was also key advisor to an adaptation project focusing on disaster management systems and human resources for health in the Pacific Islands. These three projects were funded by the National Climate Change Research Facility (NCCARF).
Natasha is currently project managing and a lead investigator on a three-year project focusing on community adaptation in New South Wales funded by Office of Environment and Heritage.
Prior to joining the Institute, Natasha designed and assisted in developing a Climate Adaptation Plan for a local council in Sydney, working with government, business and communities across the Council area. Natasha has also worked in the water and energy sectors, providing environmental management advice across diverse projects ranging from capital works, for example construction of substations, to undertaking studies to enhance wastewater treatment processes. She has also worked as an AusAID volunteer providing environmental advice on a solid waste management project for a coastal village in Sri Lanka and developing a micro-credit programme to enhance rural livelihoods.
Mukheibir, P, Kuruppu, N, Gero, A & Herriman, J 2012, 'Cross-scale barriers to climate change adaptation in local government, Australia', National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility's (NCCARF's) Climate Adaptation in Action 2012: Sharing knowledge to adapt, Melbourne, Australia.
Kuruppu, N., Mukheibir, P., Murta, J., Gero, A., Brennan, T. & Chong, J. 2012, 'Enhancing the adaptive capacity of Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Australia to climate change and variability', Climate Adaptation in Action 2012: Sharing knowledge to adapt, Climate Adaptation in Action 2012: Sharing knowledge to adapt, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), Melbourne, Australia.
Mukheibir, P., Kuruppu, N., Gero, A. & Herriman, E. National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility 2013, Cross-scale barriers to climate change adaptation in local government, Australia, Cross-scale barriers to climate change adaptation in local government, Australia: Final report, pp. 1-101, Gold Coast.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This report documents a study aimed at identifying cross-scale barriers to planned adaptation within the context of local government in Australia, and the development of enabling actions to overcome these barriers. Many of the impacts of climate change and variability have been, or will be, experienced at the local level. As a result, local governments in Australia (and overseas) have initiated plans to adapt to these impacts. However, the pathway to planning and implementation of adaptation is not a barrier-free process. Local governments are embedded in a larger governance context that has the potential to limit the effectiveness of planned adaptation initiatives on the ground. Identifying barriers or constraints to adaptation is an important process in supporting successful adaptation planning, particularly where reworking the path-dependent institutional structures, organisational cultures and policy-making procedures is required.
Kuruppu, N., Murta, J., Mukheibir, P., Chong, J. & Brennan, T. National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility 2013, Understanding the adaptive capacity of Australian small-to-medium enterprises to climate change and variability, Understanding the adaptive capacity of Australian small-to-medium enterprises to climate change and variability.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) comprise 96 per cent of all private businesses in Australia. The SME sector is the economys largest employer and the largest contributor to GDP. Moreover, SMEs play a significant role within socio-economic systems: they provide employment, goods and services and tax revenue for communities. Climate change may result in adverse business outcomes including business interruptions, increased investment and insurance costs, and declines in financial indicators such as measures of value, return and growth. After natural disasters, SMEs face greater short-term losses than larger enterprises, and may have lower adaptive capacity for various reasons. This study examines the underlying factors and processes shaping adaptive capacity of Australian SMEs to climate change and associated sea level rise. Specifically, the research asks the following questions: 1) How have SMEs considered and integrated adaptation into business planning? 2) What are the key underlying processes that constrain and influence the adaptive capacities of SMEs? and 3) What types of support are required to promote SME business continuity under a changing climate? The study adopts theories from Political Ecology and draws on literature on vulnerability and hazards to understand the processes that mediate the adaptive capacity of SMEs. The empirical research involved an online survey targeting SMEs, attending business engagement events hosted by chambers of commerce, 30 semi-structured interviews with secondary stakeholders, five case studies involving SMEs and secondary stakeholders, and finally a stakeholder workshop which brought together participants from both groups
Kuruppu, N, McGee, CM, Murta, J, Prendergast, J, Prior, JH, Prior, TD, Retamal, ML, Usher, J & Zeibots, ME 2011, Sustainability strategy for the North Ryde Station Precinct Project: Infrastructure and subdivision, prepared for Transport Construction Authority, by Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia.
Kuruppu, N., Murta, J. & Mukheibir, P. 2014, 'Small businesses in Australia and their capacity needs under a changing climate', Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, pp. 22-23.View/Download from: UTS OPUS