4 June 2019

Utrecht develops partnership for inclusive and climate proof deltas in global South

A new research programme will investigate pathways towards more inclusive and sustainable water planning in deltas in the global South. Successful matches for the project were made at the first event of the Diamonds in the Delta research project. The project is funded by the Water, Climate and Future Deltas hub of Pathways to Sustainability.

On 8 May 2019, Utrecht University in close cooperation with Deltares, RVO the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and LANDac organised a matchmaking event for the Diamonds in the Delta programme, a collaborative research programme about inclusive and resilient delta interventions in the global South. The event was attended by representatives from the private sector, government, civil society and universities and resulted in concrete research questions and suggestions for output that are of benefit to the water sector.

Real impact on the ground

Over the last decade, the Dutch government, businesses and knowledge institutes supported various delta regions in the global South through infrastructure projects, spatial development plans and strategic delta management frameworks. However, these delta projects do not always translate into real impacts on the ground and when they do, they can disproportionately impact vulnerable groups. In addition, limited data availability and short-term projections raise concerns as to the unforeseen impacts on land-water systems and the long-term sustainability of delta management strategies. Utrecht University, Deltares, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and LANDac are developing a research programme to investigate pathways towards more inclusive and sustainable planning by the Dutch water sector in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Henk Ovink giving a presentation on delta planning during the seminar

Aspects of delta planning

Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, opened the event addressing three aspects of delta planning: inclusiveness, climate resilience and governance. Participants actively engaged in break-out sessions, reflected on internal and multisectoral learning, and thought about next steps in the field, building bridges between the research and practice perspective.

Water, Climate and Future Deltas

The day was a successful first result of the Diamonds in the Delta research project, funded by the Water, Climate and Future Deltas hub of Pathways to Sustainability at Utrecht University. The event was funded by a matchmaking event grant from NWO-NWA.