Being ‘hotspots’ of human activity with generally high population densities, deltas are vulnerable to changes induced by a range of driving forces, both natural and anthropogenic. In addition to already existing challenges, uncertainty of the possible impacts of climate change, low lying deltas around the world increasingly face challenges to cope with subsidence, flood risk, storms and salinization. Due to on-going urbanization, demographic growth and economic activities, which have to be combined with food production and ecosystem integrity, the demand for sustainable water allocation and sound infrastructure in deltas is omnipresent. Competing demands from a variety of sectors and stakeholders require a transparent dialogue and an enabling governance environment for sound decision-making. The complex and interrelated issues in deltas need to be specifically addressed to make these deltas more resilient and sustainable for the years to come. For that purpose the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and Delta Alliance (DA) developed the ‘Enabling Delta Life Initiative’: a Global Programme of Actions on Deltas, with support from the Netherlands International Development Programme (DGIS). This programme will be part of the Global Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) of GWP and will be jointly implemented by GWP and Delta Alliance.