Colloquium on Strategic and Adaptive Delta Planning

03 januari 2017 door Webredactie DIMI

On 24th of November a colloquium on strategic and adaptive delta planning was held at Delft University of Technology

This colloquium focused on the challenge of urbanizing deltas in developing countries that need to adapt to face rapid changing environmental conditions. The question that was addressed during the day was how to develop long-term and integral delta strategies, while acknowledging differences in physical, socio-economic, cultural and governance settings and a context of deep uncertainty of these highly dynamic delta regions.

During the colloquium the first results of several NWO Urbanizing Deltas of the World research projects were presented. Examples from adaptive and integrative strategies for Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Mekong Delta and groundwater management in peri-urban regions in India’s Ganges delta were shown and discussed. The presentations will be available soon.

The main conclusions that could be drawn based on the presentations and the lively discussion that followed is that it is difficult to change the course towards more sustainable pathways because of vested interests, economic lock in and institutional barriers. However, a better understanding of the root causes of risk and mechanisms that ‘produce’ unsustainable behavior is needed to develop effective strategies and interventions. Also, more focus is needed on how to use local knowledge and effective learning processes, for example in training workshops. Additionally, there should be a shift in focus from adaptive towards development and opportunities. In the end, successful adaptation strategies for urbanized deltas need not only to focus on flood risk reduction but also to deliver wider benefits for society.

© 2017 TU Delft