Delta Climate Center contributes to a sustainable future for the delta

April 12, 2024

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is one of the six founders of the Delta Climate Center (DCC) in Vlissingen. On Wednesday 10 April, DCC presented their first developments at the ‘Meet the Delta Climate Center’ event.

The Delta Climate Center aims to use research and education to contribute to a sustainable future for the Zeeland delta and, by extension, deltas around the world. Scientific Director Albert Klein Tank and a number of staff members explained to the more than 250 visitors attending the event how the centre plans to do this. Klein Tank pointed out four aspects that make the centre unique: the cooperation between senior secondary vocational education (MBO), universities of applied sciences (HBO) and research universities in education and research, the interpretation of the themes of water, energy, and food, and the innovative working practices which the centre is deploying to achieve its goals, viewing the entire province as a living lab.

Three iconic projects

Three ‘iconic’ projects were also presented at the event. These long-term research projects are intended to get the Delta Climate Center off to a flying start: Delta Protein, Flexible Deltas, and Procez. The first project is about the protein transition. Researcher Klaas Timmermans talked about the research conducted by the partners on how the Zeeland delta can grow as a source of sustainable, tasty, and affordable food from the sea, within the delta's natural boundaries.

Flexible Deltas is all about how humans and nature can work together to combat climate change and sea level rise. Teun Terpstra, lecturer and leader of the project, explained that researchers are looking at how we can build with nature, and move with it, in order to ensure climate-resilient design of land-water transitions for future generations.

The third iconic project, Procez, focuses on circularity. In this project, researchers explore what is needed for a dynamic-circular and green Zeeland economy. This is not just about technical solutions, but also about what is needed in terms of governance and administration, as Professor Herman Kasper Gilissen made clear. Professors Jaap van der Meer, Huub Rijnaarts and Jan van Tatenhoven are linked to DCC through WUR.

All Delta Climate Center founders take part in these iconic projects. Besides WUR, the partners include Scalda, HZ University of Applied Sciences, University College Roosevelt, the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), and Utrecht University.

King's commisioner Han Polman expressed his approval for the DCC
King's commisioner Han Polman expressed his approval for the DCC

At least until 2032

The establishment of the DCC is part of the Dutch government's compensation package for not realising a marine barracks in Vlissingen. It has therefore been made possible in part by financial contributions from the Wind in the Sails compensation package and the Province of Zeeland. King's Commissioner Han Polman said he was happy to see the DCC in place, and thanked Bernard Wientjes, who put together the Wind in the Sails compensation package. The DCC is due to run at least until 2032.