Water Adaptation Community Webinar: Adaptation in Deltas: Good Practices and Reaching Impact at Scale


24 February 2022, 9:30 CET

This webinar focuses on river deltas and how to accelerate climate adaptation to address vulnerability as well as to promote sustainable delta development

Event description:

River deltas are the main working arena of the global effort on climate change adaptation, with critical vulnerability and the highest concentration of population and economic assets. About 500 million people currently live in deltas and coastal urban regions, and by 2050 this population will reach 750 million.

A majority of deltas has high economic productivity, and they represent the main engines of the national and regional economies. Yet, sustainability and the very existence of many deltas face multiple problems under climate change: salinization, coastal inundation, erosion, land subsidence, flooding, and water shortage, among others. Upstream developments such as irrigation and hydropower development also create serious implications for downstream deltas. A large part of these impacts on deltas are felt in the water sector. Safeguarding safety and economic prosperity in river deltas through effective water adaptation therefore represents a top priority.

Insights and experience in adapting to climate change impacts in river deltas are building up rapidly, however the adaptation gap is still large. The recent GCA report on ‘Living with water: climate adaptation in the world’s deltas’ highlights a diverse collection of good adaptive practices across seven major deltas in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. In addition to the high potential of adaptation practices, the report also noted multiple hurdles in accelerating adaptation in deltas. These include improving the institutional and governance structures to drive adaptation, mobilizing financial resources, creating partnerships and networks, and placing local communities in the center of adaptation efforts, among others.

This webinar session focuses on adaptation in river deltas, in particular how to accelerate adaptation to address vulnerability and to further promote sustainable delta development. The contributing speeches and panel discussion will highlight proven good practices in delta adaptation, and shed light on the question of how to upscale and accelerate them further to meet the speed and scale required to address climate change impacts.

Key questions addressed:

  • What are the pressing issues for water adaptation in deltas?
  • How can adaptation be accelerated to address vulnerability as well as to further promote sustainable delta development?
  • What are the roles of communities and locally-led initiatives in delta adaptation and water management?
  • How can brokering between partnerships and networks from different corners of the world benefit delta adaptation?

Moderator: Prof. Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and Senior Advisor, GCA

9:30-9:40 Introduction – Prof. Saleemul Huq
9:40-9:50 Driving adaptation using national-wise delta program, experience from the Dutch Delta Program – Peter Glas, Delta Programme Commissioner of the Netherlands
9:50-10:00 Climate adaptation needs and key adaptation strategies for the Paraná Delta, Argentina – Dr. Verónica Zagare, Argentinean Wing Coordinator of Delta Alliance (pre-recorded presentation)
10:00-10:10 Leveraging strategic delta planning for delta management: Case of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 – Giasuddin Choudhury, Deputy Team Leader Support to Implementation of Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100
10:05-10:15 Adaptation and up-downstream integration issues from the Okavango Delta – Jobe Manga, The District Environment Coordinator in Maun, Botswana
10:15-11:00 Q&A Panel discussion
Moderator: Prof. Saleemul Huq

  • Delta Adaptation Community of Practice: Dr. Ase Johannessen, Global Center on Adaptation
  • Living Delta Research Hub: Ms. Sumana Banerjee & Dr. Cai Ladd
  • Resilient Asian Delta (WWF): Ms. Nguyen Thanh Phuong

Download knowledge products developed based on key insights from the webinar