T he Netherlands has a long history of adapting to water-related risks, and has developed a fourth layer of government for water management. The lessons of the centuries—including the need for broad-based public support, long-term political commitment, and taking decisions at the lowest possible level—have now been applied to a proactive approach to managing climate risk. A shift from a focus on technical solutions to working with nature can be seen in the Wadden Sea region, through solutions with multiple functions—such as the ‘double dike’, which is helping with sediment management and cultivation of seafood, as well as protecting from coastal floods.

Over the centuries, deltas have given rise to some of the world’s greatest cities—and those cities have always been open to the world. They have thrived not only in the trade of goods, but also in the exchange of ideas. Today, as the world faces up to the need to adapt to climate change, it has never been more important for delta countries to learn from one another.

That is the thinking behind the Global Center on Adaptation ‘lighthouse’ report: “Living with water: climate adaptation in the world’s deltas“. The report brings together inspiring case studies from around the globe to galvanize governments and citizens to help the half a billion people living in delta communities who are imperiled by climate change.

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