Water Adaptation Community Webinar: Scaling Up Nature-based Solutions for Adaptation in Coastal Areas: What are elements of success?

Hybrid (Virtual and in-person in Groninger Museum)

23 June 2022, 12:30

The Water Adaptation Community is organizing a webinar to present different coastal adaptation strategies using practical cases of how Nature-based Solutions have been included, but also some challenges and opportunities for upscaling.

Event description:

Coastal environments form the interface between the land and sea or ocean. They host key infrastructures, ecosystems and about 40% of the world’s global population. Coastal ecosystems are already impacted by the combination of sea-level rise, other climate-related ocean changes and adverse effects from human activities on ocean and land.

One of the most certain consequences of global warming is an increase of global sea level. More intense and frequent extreme sea level events, together with trends in coastal development are expected to increase expected annual flood damages by two to three orders of magnitude by 2100.

Adapting to sea-level rise typically entails large-scale investments with a long lead time for planning and implementation, and potentially large societal impacts for current and future generations. To safeguard the livelihoods of the 100 million persons who live within one meter of the mean sea level and the existence of some islands and deltaic coasts, adaptation needs to be accelerated. Hard coastal protection measures are widespread and provide predictable levels of safety. In contrast, Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are not yet widespread.

In the face of deep uncertainty there is a need to support decision-making for choosing an appropriate and accepted strategy, e.g., protect/defend, accommodate, advance, and retreat. These need to integrate environmentally friendly designs using NbS. However, there are challenges of implementing these solutions and a need for upscaling of good examples and sharing of lessons learnt.

The Water Adaptation Community is organizing a webinar on coastal adaptation using Nature based Solutions. The webinar, which presents different coastal adaptation strategies and examples of how NsB have been included as well as challenges and opportunities for upscaling, will be held during an-in person event on climate adaptation in Groningen. This event, which convenes local private sector partners and stakeholders, is organized by the knowledge and innovations broker of the Akkoord van Groningen, a strategic partnership aiming to develop the city and province into a prime knowledge and innovation hub on global issues, such as climate change adaptation.


12.30: Welcome by Fleur Wouterse, Director of Research, Global Center on Adaptation

12.35–12.45: Keynote by Joanna Eyquem, Managing Director, Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo, Canada: Combining Natural and Grey Infrastructure to Protect Canada’s Eastern and Western Coastal Communities

Case studies from implementers for the different options:
12.45: Introduction to the Discussion panel
5 min presentations on NbS and outlining challenges and solutions to discuss. The challenges to the implementation of NbS for adaptation in coastal areas, how to get the action going at the desired speed and scale, and how to make best use of the private sector perspective.
12.50–12.55: Albert Vos, project manager IBP Vloed: Eems-Dollard 2050 as a hybrid solution combining both defensive infrastructure and NbS /Ecosystem based Adaptation approaches
12.5513.00: Ole Fryd, Associate Professor, Landscape architecture and planning, University of Copenhagen: Coastal protection examples from Denmark: Implementing the NbS agenda to protect, accommodate, retreat, or avoid
13.00–13.05: Paul Sayers, Sayers and Partners: Decision-support and examples from the UK on how to inform decision-makers on coastal risk and adaptation
13.0513.10: Moussa Sall, CSE and Didier Kabou, WACA: Dune reconstruction in Saint Louis, Senegal

13.10–13.30: Panel discussion with speakers plus additional invitees:
Building on the presented cases what are the conclusions on the lessons learnt from these?
Arona Soumare, AfDB and Floris Boogaard or Mindert de Vries of Deltares: The challenges to the implementation of NbS for adaptation in coastal areas, how to get the action going at the desired speed and scale, and how to make best use of the private sector perspective.
Fen-Yu (Vicky) Lin / Rutger de Graaf from Blue 21: Floating development (attack) to support NbS.

13.3013.35: Closing Key takeaways