14 July 2017

Subsidence in deltas at the LANDac International Conference 2017


Subsidence in deltas at the LANDac International Conference 2017 Future Deltas contributed to the LANDac International Conference 2017 and hosted a session ‘How to deal with subsidence in deltas’. The conference was held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on Thursday 29th of June.

The session started with short presentations by five panel members: Esther Stouthamer (UU), Gilles Erkens (Deltares/UU), Simon Troost (Aveco de Bondt), Erlis Saputra (UU), and Marleen van Rijswick (UU). The panel members shared their latest work and insights with participants and showed the complexity and struggles that are part of the land subsidence issue. They also addressed the causes, impacts and potential mitigation and adaptation strategies. Different case studies, including the Ciliwung delta (Indonesia), the Rhine-Meuse delta (The Netherlands), and the Yangtze delta (China), were presented from a legal, socio-economic, nature and land user perspective.

The panel members strongly emphasized that subsidence is increasingly causing severe harm to nature and people living in delta areas. It is a complex multi-interest problem that requires a mix of policy instruments and needs a combination of adaptation (which will not stop, and may even enhance, subsidence) and mitigation strategies. It is time to take responsibility and action now. After the presentations a lively debate on how to put land subsidence on the radar in different deltas worldwide followed. It resulted in planning a follow-up meeting in autumn 2017.

Watch this space!