Publicaties

Challenges and Approaches in River Delta Planning - report on training workshop

Wosten, J.H.M.; Douven, W.; Long Phi, H.; Fida Abdullah Khan, M.

Samenvatting

River delta’s, like the Mekong Delta (Vietnam), Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta (Bangladesh), Irrawady (Myanmar) and Ciliwung Delta (Indonesia) are developing rapidly and characterized by large-scale urbanization and industrialization processes. They are facing serious planning challenges related to issues like economic development, population growth, vulnerability to flooding, and food security. These challenges occur in a context of regional and global changes including upstream developments and climate change. The Mekong Delta, Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Irrawady (Myanmar) and the Ciliwung Delta are for instance the largest areas to suffer the severe impacts of climate change due to their low elevation, high population density and high dependency of local settlers on agriculture and aquaculture. There is much to learn from people in these deltas who always have lived with floods, droughts, typhoons, and have developed many adaptation strategies to deal with such risks over the centuries. Addressing and resolving the complex planning issues require planning approaches and methods which are process oriented, oversee the problems and solutions from an integral perspective, and involve stakeholders to make use of current practice and experience. An ‘integral perspective’ is required to address multi-level interests (local, delta, (inter-)national) and interests of different sectors and key stakeholders being part of the delta system. Such a planning approach is often seen as preferred, but in many countries challenging as the planning history is often sectoral orientated with limited stakeholder participation, information is often fragmentized, and capacities to undertake and absorb such a planning process often not well developed yet. There is an emerging need to exchange experiences between professionals involved in various aspects of delta planning and discuss different planning approaches and methods and their feasibility in different contexts.