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This year’s World Water Forum (WWF) is a significant one as it marks the events 10th anniversary

The jubilee edition is hosted by Indonesia and will take place in Bali under the main theme of ‘Water for shared prosperity’. The event will officially open with a traditional Balinese water purification ceremony, followed by 6 days of knowledge sharing, presenting, listening and networking.

Liliane Geerling, Programme Coordinator for Partners for Water and Ivo van der Linden, Delegated Representative for Indonesia discuss the importance of this event and the relationship between the Netherlands and Indonesia.

Liliane Geerling – Programme Coordinator, Partners for Water

‘At the WWF, we will present the Netherlands as a “Centre of Excellence with a shared pavilion where we showcase our broad expertise and knowledge related to water security. Partners for Water serves as host, but there are many other organisations involved, such as the Dutch embassy, Dutch companies and several Indonesian organisations. We feel that by attending the WWF we will benefit greatly because it will bring together so many stakeholders including; governments, multilateral institutions, academia and businesses.’

 

Enhancing cooperation

‘The pavilion will offer a comprehensive programme with lots of opportunities for interaction and in-depth sessions. For example, we are organising some sessions around the theme “Status and trends in global water cooperation”, where we will discuss what makes water cooperation work, how we can enhance bilateral cooperation and which role the international multilateral system should play. Another example is a presentation by the Ecoshape consortium about their research into Nature-based Solutions for increased water resilience in South-East Asia.’

‘At this year’s WWF, there will be many young water enthusiasts attending which is a great idea as after all they’re the future of the water sector. This is why we involved them in the run up to the event and it will continue to engage with them during and afterwards. One of the “youth activities” at the forum is a “pressure cooker challenge” (Raincarft Bali). Young professionals must come up with solutions to specific water challenges on the spot and then present them. I will be part of the jury and am very curious to hear what they come up with.’

Water action agenda

‘For me the WFF will be successful if, through our pavilion, we can spark discussions on how to advance innovative water solutions and how we can make these inclusive to all. Following that, I hope we can share knowledge and approaches towards water security for all. I also hope we can build upon the Water Action Agenda, which was launched at the UN Water Conference in New York in 2023. Since then, we’ve taken the lead on further developing this agenda and we hope to continue this in Bali. There is plenty of overlap between the action agenda and the themes of the WWF so I’m confident we will manage this.’

Ivo van der Linden – Delegated Representative, Indonesia

‘The fact that this year’s World Water Forum (WWF) is taking place in Bali is special for the Netherlands, due to our long-standing relationship with Indonesia. This collaboration was formalised in 2007 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), but we have been working together for much longer. We do this in an integrated, inclusive, sustainable and equal manner. We want to commend Indonesia for hosting this WWF and applaud their leadership role in addressing global water and climate challenges. We will help them out wherever we can, to ensure this edition is a memorable one.’

‘Indonesia is developing rapidly and we have ambitious goals regarding our collaboration. This includes new ways of working, where we work together to create an agenda and activities. As we’re both delta countries, we face common challenges such as coastal erosion and rising sea levels. We’re not only partners on water issues, but we also collaborate on other topics too, like renewable energy, sustainable cities and agriculture innovation. But water is an important driver for our broader collaboration.’

Shared knowledge agenda

As we knew that this year’s WWF would be hosted in Bali, we’ve been working together with the Indonesian Government to organise several joint activities. One aspect of this is giving young people a greater platform, as Liliane already explained. In addition to that, we also created a shared “knowledge agenda” for the event, which will culminate in two panel sessions that we’re jointly moderating. In one of them we will discuss small islands development and how we can help mitigate the water problems they face, like a lack of fresh water or climate change-related challenges.’

In the coming years, we will continue investing in our relationship with Indonesia through enhanced dialogue and aligning policy agendas. Part of that process includes evaluating our past collaboration and discussing how we can further improve it. During these sessions, we also include other partners such as the Asian Development Bank as they can use their funding programmes to help turn ideas and plans into concrete, actionable projects.

For more information about the Netherlands Pavilion programme, visit the event page.

Or, directly download the programme!

The global housing crisis is acute in Beira, Mozambique. Climate-resilient, affordable houses are in short supply due to climate threats, informal incomes, lack of urban planning and limited mortgage support.

The Beira municipality, with support from the Netherlands, addresses this issue through the new Maraza Residential Zone. They aim to make 25,000 homes accessible using pioneering approaches. Partners for Water’s programme advisor, Jaap Kroon and project partner Marie-Odile Zanders, discuss the project’s approach and challenges.

The Mozambican city of Beira is partly below sea level and highly vulnerable to the increasing effects of climate change. In 2019 and 2021, the port city was struck by two cyclones that destroyed more than 70% of the buildings. With assistance from the Partners for Water programme and the Netherlands Embassy, the municipality and the ‘Municipal Recovery and Resilience Plan’ are rebuilding Beira towards a climate-resilient, flood proof city, based on the so called the Beira Masterplan 2035.  The new Maraza Residential Zone is an important part of this city-wide development plan.

Marie-Odile Zanders, Director of Property Partnerships & Development at Empowa, Maraza’s home loan provider, has been working closely on this project with a number of partners. Together with Jaap Kroon, Partners for Water’s programme advisor Mozambique, she elaborates on the project’s progress and obstacles.

Housing Crisis

“Like in the rest of Mozambique and wider Africa, affordable housing is scarce in Beira and houses that withstand climate hazards are even scarcer. Obtaining mortgages in Mozambique is challenging and those that are available have interest rates exceeding 20 percent”, says Kroon. Zanders adds: “Many Mozambicans rely on informal and unpredictable incomes. This makes them ineligible for home loans. Today, approximately, only 600 mortgages are in existence throughout all of Mozambique.”

“The alternative for buying a house is to construct one yourself. This takes a long time and often results in homes that are not resilient enough to withstand natural disasters. The housing that will be offered in Maraza will mean that most low to middle income Mozambicans can finally gain access to a climate-resilient home and not have to build themselves,” says Zanders.

25,000 Resilient, Affordable Green Homes

“The idea is to build 25,000 homes in an already allocated, low-lying area of 450 hectares. The land will be raised to prevent flooding and equipped with drainage, sewage and drinking water connections. The houses in the Maraza Residential Zone will be cyclone-resistant and affordable for the residents of Beira,” explains Kroon.

Local and International Partners

Maraza will be developed of by both local and international partners. One of them is the Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Urbano da Beira (SDUB), the organisation responsible for land development. The Partners for Water programme and the Netherlands Embassy in Mozambique have been funding SDUB since 2019. Since 2023, it’s received partial funding from Partners for Water and the Municipality of Beira. In addition to SDUB, the local developer Casa Real and the financial technology provider Empowa are partners in this innovative project.

Proof of Concept¹: Inhamizua District

As a proof of concept, a similar project has been developed by Casa Real and Empowa. They independently built 150 affordable homes on the outskirts of Beira. The homes are made accessible by reducing construction costs for a starter house from US$ 45.000 to just below US$ 10.000 and through a rent-to-buy scheme. Lower income residents can rent the home while saving money to buy it. This allows them to demonstrate, despite their informal incomes, that the scheme has proven to be successfull. Fifteen months into the scheme, one in three tenants has already paid at least 20% of their home’s value. Furthermore, financial flows are handled using blockchain technology. This reduces costs and risk by delivering timely, verified and indisputable data to investors and other relevant stakeholders.

It is critical that new approaches to affordable housing development are explored. Our group of committed and patient partners in Beira are demonstrating that another way of making Africa’s affordable housing market work is possible. Our approach is attuned to the needs of people who live and work informally, while being commercially viable, scaleable and replicable

Marie-Odile Zanders

Start-up challenges in Maraza Residential Zone

Close to 2.5 million euros have been invested in Maraza’s development to prepare 3.5 hectares for construction as a mini-pilot project. The sand has been raised, an access road constructed, drainage and wastewater collection systems installed and plots for apartment blocks of about 400 units are ready. The homes will be sold in a similar manner to the successful Inhamizua project. However, despite the accomplishments of the Inhamizua district, there are several challenges in securing the initial capital needed to build the first apartments.

The Inhamizua project has incurred interesting returns, yet it has been deemed too risky by various potential financiers’ due to Africa’s underdeveloped affordable housing markets, among other factors. “To reduce the risk, Partners for Water offers soft funding of around 20% of the required investment for the first phase, on the condition that another party provides the remainder,” says Kroon. The data and systems used in the Inhamizua project help in further de-risking investments into Maraza’s homes. Zanders adds: “We invite anyone interested in a different approach to affordable housing development to come and learn from us in Beira.”

Next Steps

“Everything and everyone is in place ready to build the houses: the developers, construction workers, materials, plots and the Beira municipality is firmly supporting the development of the Maraza Residential zone. So, once funding is secured, construction will start as soon as possible,” says Kroon.  And there is no doubt that the demand exists, as market research in Beira has already identified around 500 families interested and capable of renting or buying homes from the mini-pilot project.

Beira thrilogy

This article is the first of three publications highlighting Partners for Waters work in Beira ahead of the 50th anniversary of bilateral cooperation between The Netherlands and Mozambique.

[1] Impact assessment was undertaken by Mercy Corps Ventures (MCV) during 2023/2024. For more info: MCV’s  blog on “The Impact of Climate-Resilient Housing and How Web3 Technology can scale its Development”.

David Mornout, Junior Programme Manager at MetaMeta – a social enterprise in sustainable water and land management – will be attending the World Water Forum in Bali this month

His involvement in the forum is no coincidence, as David was already active in youth advocacy during his studies. “I gained considerable experience as the National Director at the International Association for Students in Agriculture and Related Sciences (IAAS),” David explains.

This background forms the foundation for his role in Bali, where he will act as a bridge-builder between different cultures and areas of expertise.

Bali Youth Plan

Through the Bali Youth Plan, David actively participates in discussions and sessions that focus on political, thematic, or regional issues. This involvement aims to engage youth as equal partners in all aspects of the WWF, emphasizing their role as equal stakeholders. The 60-member youth team is essential in bringing the youth perspective into the broader conversation about water management.

Netherlands Pavilion at the Bali World Water Forum

At the Netherlands pavilion, organised by Partners for Water, David will lead a session together with colleagues from the RVO’s ‘Reversing the Flow’ programme. This session will focus on knowledge sharing and best practices on locally-led adaptation. “These sessions are key for passing on knowledge we hold and learning from others at the same time,” David explains. The Netherlands, which has a significant international role in water management, doesn’t have all the answers. A good example of this is the recent funding awarded for a Dutch-Indian knowledge exchange and research project. This funding will help our country learn more about citizen participation in early warning for floods and drought, while India can gain from Dutch expertise in riverine measurements.

Listening and connecting are essential to achieving ‘water for shared prosperity

David Mornout

MetaMeta

Impact is made together

“Impact is only achieved through collaboration,” David says. “This is where MetaMeta excels, and it aligns perfectly with my vision for the forum.” Collaboration is vital, especially in water management where global challenges require solutions that cross borders. It’s about working together on themes and with people. The past few years, I’ve noticed increasing connections between water, nature, and food. For example, I co-organised an event with IAAS and MetaMeta, alongside the Islamic Development Bank, at last year’s United Nations Water Conference. We discussed the complex relation between water, food, energy, and ecosystems in the MENA region. Although this kind of collaboration is essential and makes sense, the complexity can sometimes slow down action. We must all stay alert to ensure that it doesn’t.

Agents of change

David’s approach is practical and aimed at achieving clear results. “I aim to bring back new contacts, ideas, and partnerships that can help us make an impact on a larger scale,” he explains. The youth plan operates under the motto ‘to position young people as agents of change and inspire more youth to take action for water.’ This approach calls for a broad perspective while maintaining a focus on action-oriented behavior. “If we can take even a small, concrete step toward achieving global water goals at Bali, I’ll be very satisfied.”

If we can take even a small, concrete step toward achieving global water goals at Bali, I’ll be very satisfied

David Mornout

MetaMeta

World Water Forum expectations

With ‘Water for Shared Prosperity’ as its theme, the World Water Forum offers a vital space for important conversations about the future of water. “It’s not only about your own knowledge sharing but also about listening to others and forming connections,” David notes. “I’m excited to discover the range of ideas and approaches that the forum will bring, which will also help me look beyond my own water bubble.”

With the Netherlands pavilion from Partners for Water and youth representation by David, the World Water Forum will have a substantial delegation from the Netherlands. Stay tuned to our website for the latest updates from the WWF.

Join us at the Netherlands Pavilion at Bali!

Bali World Water Forum

“Bangladesh is a treasure trove for water experts.” Last year, we spoke with Neeltje Kielen about her three-year tenure as the Delegated Representative for Water (DR) at the Dutch embassy in Bangladesh. With the first year behind her, it’s time for a check-in. How has she experienced this past year, what stands out to her and what are her plans for the coming year?

Expectations

“What I expected came true,” begins Neeltje. “As a water expert, you can truly lose your heart here; it’s like a vast treasure trove.” The combination of specialised expertise, the dynamic nature of the country and the transition to integrated collaborative partnerships “make me excited to go to work everyday”.

Meaningful collaboration and phasing out of development aid

The collaboration between the governments of the Netherlands and Bangladesh has a robust history, but with Bangladesh’s expected transition to a middle-income country by 2026, the development aid (ODA) is phasing out. “I am currently drafting a plan for the final extension of the SIDBP program (Support to the Implementation of the Bangladesh Delta Programme). This involves assessing current operations and planning our collaborative efforts in the years to come. It’s crucial to determine what the Netherlands should continue to support and what responsibilities Bangladesh can take on until the full transfer is achieved. This with a view of continued partnership also after the Netherlands has phased out ODA”, explains Neeltje.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

The partnership, as it stands, is finite, yet there’s still a tremendous amount to be done. The delta of Bangladesh is as dynamic as its economy and population; the impacts of climate change are evident, and Bangladesh is keen to implement the Delta Programme effectively. Since the start of the Bangladesh Delta Programme, they’ve embraced this plan and are structurally working on its implementation. “While bureaucratic processes are often labelled as slow, I find this relative.”, Neeltje notes. In the Netherlands, for instance, the trajectory from the initiative to the actual opening of the Haringvliet sluice took nearly 20 years. The Dutch central government leads, but implementation is decentralised, involving entities such as RWS, water boards and municipalities. In contrast, Bangladesh centralises everything, which can be surprisingly efficient with the right approach.

Private investments for the water programme

It’s evident that Bangladesh cannot finance the water programme, accounting for 2.5% of its GDP alone. “Hence, we are now focusing on private investments. It would be incredible if we could achieve 20% of the total scope with the support of private entities. “I am currently collaborating with the World Bank’s Water Resource Group 2030 to explore how the Netherlands can contribute to water treatment plants for several economic zones in Bangladesh. The eagerness of the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority to partner, even to the extent of proposing an MoU with the Netherlands, is heartening. I am actively forging connections with Dutch companies and establishing frameworks for private investment. This world of business case-driven enterprises is completely new for me”, Neeltje explains.

Proud of the golden triangle

“My prior experience with the Delta Programme has been directly applicable to the Bangladesh Delta Programme. My experience in government allows me to understand and work well with the systems here, helping me make connections. In the ‘golden triangle,’ I’ve secured a position that enables swift action to enhance private sector involvement, knowledge exchange and further development of the Bangladesh Delta Programme. Reflecting on the past year, I am most proud of expanding this network”, Neeltje adds.

2024: PPP & continuing the SIDBP-programme

The forthcoming year is dedicated to refining the plan for Dutch governmental collaboration in Bangladesh for the final phase of the SIDBP program. Another goal for 2024 is to establish an initial Public-Private Partnership agreement (PPP) to explore its efficacy for Dutch company engagement in Bangladesh.

Still much to accomplish

With one year down and many more ahead, Neeltje continues her journey in Bangladesh as the Delegated Representative for Water at the Netherlands Embassy, focusing on Dutch company involvement and the Delta Programme execution. She’s exploring Bangladesh’s vast treasure trove of opportunities for water experts along the way.

Partners for Water Subsidy scheme

Partners for Water (PfW) keeps an eye on Neeltje’s journey. On 2 April, a Bangladesh Sector Meeting was organised to explore opportunities, challenges and collaboration prospects in operation and maintenance in Bangladesh. At this meeting, PfW asked for those with innovative plans to enhance water security in Bangladesh and globally, to apply for the PfW subsidy scheme.

Apply for the subsidy scheme

With passion and enthusiasm, the results of bilateral collaborations between Indonesia and the Netherlands where shared with 52 participants from the Dutch and Indonesian water sector on Wednesday 14 December. Partners for Water, EcoShape, Invest International and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Jakarta elaborated about successful projects of 2022 and gave a sneak preview of what is to come in 2023. One thing was clear, all the parties are looking forward to increasing their impact in Indonesia.

The Indonesian – Dutch relationship of the water sector has been long and will be continued for a long time

Nature Based Solutions in Sidoarjo

The Indonesian government has requested support from the Government of the Netherlands for the improvement of the regional aquaculture sector in Sidoarjo in East Java, whilst strengthening coastal sediment management and the conservation of the mangrove system. The Partners for Water programme has assigned a scoping project to Ecoshape, and in the beginning of December, a team of experts in Building with Nature visited Sidoarjo.

The past 7 years, EcoShape has been actively working on restoring the eroding mangrove coast in Demak with Nature Based Solutions. This has been co-funded by Fund Sustainable Water (RVO). Now EcoShape can translate the lessons learned in Demak to Sidoarjo and potentially integrate solutions to improve the aquaculture and environmental issues in the region. One of the aims of the scoping assignment is to share the knowledge and results with the Dutch and international water sector. A dissemination webinar will be planned in Q1 of 2023.

Asia Water

Robin van Boxtel, First Secretary at the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta, elaborated about the trade mission ‘ASIAWATER 2022’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which was organised by the Dutch Embassies of the ASEAN countries, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP). The Dutch Embassy presented the current water cooperation between the Netherlands and Indonesia and 10 Dutch companies from the water sector where part of the expo. Van Boxtel ended with the announcement of more events to be held in the coming years and the representation of the ASEAN countries at Aquatech Amsterdam in 2023.

Semarang Urban Flood Resilience

Jeroen Bakker from Invest International talked about the Semarang Urban Flood Resilience project. To support the City of Semarang in becoming more flood resilience, Invest International has provided 1 million Euro coming from the Develop2Build Dutch Government to Government grant. This money will be used to conduct studies and design and select infrastructure measures to improve Semarang’s climate resilience by reducing the incidence and frequency of floods. Once the research is conducted and the interventions are selected, the project will be handed over to Indonesian project owners who will finance and procure the interventions. The kick-off of this exciting project will be in January 2023!

Finally, Partners for Water gave a warm goodbye to Rien Dam, who has been the Delegated Representative Water in Jakarta and an appreciated contributor to the bilateral collaborations between the Indonesian and Dutch water sector.

The different water parties are looking forward to continuing sharing their knowledge and expertise in the coming year. As Rien Dam said: “The Indonesian – Dutch relationship of the water sector has been long and will be continued for a long time. “

The city of Cartagena, located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, faces major challenges due to water-related issues such as floods and declining water quality

In order to improve the city’s water system, Colombia and the Netherlands have joined forces as part of the Water as Leverage Cartagena project. Within the International Call for Action, two multidisciplinary teams were selected to address the issues.

The teams will be responsible for co-designing solutions to water and climate change adaptation related challenges. The Water as Leverage Cartagena project aims to address these issues by designing programmes that provide benefits in terms of employment, economy, biodiversity and health. The two multidisciplinary teams for Water as Leverage Cartagena consist of Dutch, Colombian and international experts.

The following organisations are a part of the two respective teams selected consortia:

  • The consortium ‘Roots of Cartagena’, consisting of Witteveen+Bos (lead organisation, the Netherlands), Felixx Landscape Architects & Planning (the Netherlands), Aqua & Terra (Columbia), University of Cartagena (Colombia), CSC Strategy & Finance (the Netherlands)
  • The consortium ‘Cartagena Con Agua’, consisting of Arcadis Netherlands (lead organisation, the Netherlands), Deltares (the Netherlands), JESyCA (Colombia), Fundación Herencia Ambiental Caribe (Colombia), Taller Architects (Colombia), Selfinver (Colombia), ONE Architecture (USA), P3 Nomads (the Netherlands)

The selection of the teams was executed by RVO, in consultation with the Water as Leverage Cartagena Advisory Board which consists of the Mayor’s Office of Cartagena, Invest International, the Netherlands’ Embassy and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

Columbia, Cartagena

Innovative, integral, implementable and inclusive solutions

The objective of this Water for Leverage Cartagena project is to generate innovative conceptual designs to address climate change adaptation and urban water management challenges in the city. The selected teams will be responsible for generating innovative and inclusive concept designs, developing project proposals to a pre-feasibility level and transforming them into ready-to-tender projects.

The aim is to create inclusive holistic projects, that take into consideration: nature; water and resilience; the exclusion of vulnerable communities; urban planning; transport and mobility; governance and finance. The first phase of the project will start at the end of February 2023 with the completion of the last phase expected to be in January 2025. Work on implementation will continue after that.

Collaboration between the Netherlands and Colombia

Water as Leverage Cartagena is facilitated by the Government of the Netherlands, in partnership with the Alcaldía de Cartagena de Indias, Colombian national authorities and national and international strategic partners. Water as Leverage Cartagena is financed through the ‘Partners for Water 2022 – 2027’ and ‘PSD Toolkit’ programmes.

More about Water as Leverage Cartagena
Watch this video about the challenges the city of Cartagena is facing.

Indonesia and the Netherlands have a longstanding cooperation in the field of water

To define priority initiatives in the many aspects the cooperation involves, three Joint Working Groups (JWG) have been established since October 2024. To share and discuss the initial outcomes, and to gain input from the water sector active in Indonesia, Partners for Water is hosting an exchange session on 8 May.

Joint Working Groups

Three JWGs have been tasked with formulating a joint vision and ambition on which the Netherlands and Indonesia will collaborate in the coming years, and to make this ambition tangible in concrete initiatives. Started in October 2024, the JWGs consist of Dutch and Indonesian counterparts who each explored one of the three aspects of the cooperation:

  • JWG 1: Integrated Water Resilience, from North Java to enlighten other priority developments.
  • JWG 2: Lowland Development and Irrigation.
  • JWG 3: Capacity development, Knowledge exchange and Youth engagement.

You are invited!

The JWGs prove to be an effective instrument to exchange ideas with the Indonesian counterparts and to define priority initiatives for the coming years. To share and discuss the initial results and gain further insights from the water sector on these themes, we’d like to invite you to participate in our online exchange session.

Through this online exchange session, you will be informed on the progress and intermittent outcomes, and have the chance to share your knowlegde and inform us on relevant tools available within the sector that can contribute to the regarded themes. Additionally, you will be invited to join us on a regular basis in dedicated brainstorm sessions for each working group.

The online exchange session

The online session will be held on 8 May, 10.00 AM – 11.30 AM (CET). During the session, there will be a plenary introduction to the working group process, followed by breakout groups where you will take a deep dive into the specific outcomes of the working group of your choice.

Want to join? Apply for the event through this form and subscribe to a specific deep dive session. We are looking forward to meeting you on 8 May.

Apply for the online exchange session

Deep dive sessions

As JWG 3 primarily seeks to contribute in the field of Integrated Water Resilience (JWG 1) and Lowland Development and Irrigation (JWG 2), you are invited to participate in one of the following two deep dive sessions:

Integrated Water Resilience
Urban centers across North Java inhabit a complex interplay of economic development, population increase and resulting natural resource pressures, like high groundwater abstraction, high land subsidence rates, frequent floods and coastal erosion, among others. This deep dive explores the JWGs efforts to identify and further concretize the areas of mutual interest between the Netherlands and Indonesia, among which Nature-based Solutions, urban water resilience, water governance and social inclusion. The deep dive explores what a more holistic approach on regional water management could bring to this complex interplay, and how to build upon existing cooperation and knowledge in North Java.

Lowland development and Irrigation
Lowland areas play a central role in the efforts of Indonesia to reach food independence. Facing major production gaps in the near future, the demand for improving productivity of existing lowlands is high. In reaching these efforts, Indonesia aims for a food system transformation towards an ‘eco-region’ that is sustainable, healthy and resilient, and based on local resources. For years, the Dutch – Indonesian collaboration has provided strategic guidance on lowland areas through programmes like EMRP (2007-2008), WACLIMAD (2010-2012) and QANS (2012-2014). This deep dive will highlight potential areas to continue the collaboration on lowland areas and asks for your participation in defining the unique Dutch selling points in this field.

How can we address global water challenges with solutions that not only improve water security but also enhance ecosystem health and support biodiversity?

Nature-based Solutions (NBS) can help achieve all the above. Learn more about how to utilise nature to address water issues through the NBS lectures taking place from April until June, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Partners for Water X Asian Development Bank

By collaborating with nature, we can support biodiversity and ecosystems and foster resilient approaches to water and climate-related challenges. Since June 2023, Partners for Water and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have partnered to promote this approach. This collaboration enables Partners for Water to provide technical support and expert guidance regarding NBS to ADB’s member countries, facilitating the adoption and scaling up of NBS to improve global water security.

NBS Lectures

From April until June, we are offering a range of lectures where you can discover more about utalising NBS to address water challenges and enhance water security. These lectures will cover topics such as urban NBS (wetlands, sponge city, wadi 2.0, tidal parks), mangrove restoration, reuse of local materials in NBS (sediment, (rain) water, etc.) and cultural impact of NBS. You will learn from global experts and international case studies and explore innovative methods, valuable lessons learned and succesfull approaches.

Upcoming lectures

The next lectures will be held on the 15th of May and the 5th of June.

Lecture 15 May

The online NBS lecture of 15 May will focus on (re)use of local materials in NBS, which contributes to minimisation of waste and emissions by slowing and preferably closing material, water, waste and energy loops. NBS that follow the circularity concept can be seen as enablers for the transition towards a circular society, as they bring new approaches and directly connect to biodiversity and ecosystem services that further support the goals of innovation and sustainable approaches.

The examples demonstrated in this episode will focus on reuse of sediment in different forms and reuse of urban rainwater with contributions by:

  • Johan Verlinde (Municipality of Rotterdam), talking about reusing rainwater in the city of Rotterdam
  • Kees Sloff (Deltares), talking about the mini sand motors that tackle erosion pits in the Old Meuse river
  • Marcel van den Heuvel (Van Oord) talking about the clay ripening project in Groningen and its reuse for dike strengthening
  • Rasesh Pokharel (University of Utrecht), talking about transforming port sediment from the port of Rotterdam into a building material with neutral or negative CO2 footprint.

Urban waterbuffer Rotterdam – By Liliane Geerling

Find more information about the lecture topics, as well as the scheduled times and dates here.

The NBS lectures are part of the important partnership agreement between Partners for Water and the Asian Development Bank.

Register for the online lecture

The Bangladesh platform meeting held in The Hague on 2 April 2024 brought together 36 water experts from various sectors to discuss breaking the Build-Neglect-Rebuild (BNR) cycle in Bangladesh. The meeting explored the root causes of the cycle, including issues such as insufficient operation and maintenance (O&M) funding, delayed emergency responses, lack of asset management systems, and inadequate sediment management. Participants emphasized the need for a systemic and holistic approach, involving both top-down and bottom-up strategies, to address these challenges. The meeting also highlighted the importance of private sector engagement, social inclusion, and sustainable financing in infrastructure projects.

Key Takeaways:

  • Holistic Approaches: Participants stressed the need for a systemic approach that integrates O&M with long-term strategies to break the BNR cycle effectively.
  • Community Involvement: Ownership and involvement of local communities were highlighted as crucial for successful water management projects.
  • Sustainable Financing: Sustainable financing models, including public-private partnerships and performance-based contracting, were emphasised to ensure long-term maintenance of infrastructure.
  • Social Inclusion: In order to break the BNR cycle and ensure sustainable and effective water management, it’s imperative to create local ownership by building on local knowledge and practices, facilitating inclusive decision-making processes, and engaging with communities in the long run.
  • Collective Efforts/Agenda: Tackling the BNR cycle requires collaboration among governments, civil society, and the private sector, with a focus on consensus-building and long-term planning

Participants in the meeting concluded that there is no ‘magic bullet’ solution and advocated for an agenda-driven dialogue and a long-term process involving all stakeholders to effectively tackle the challenges and move towards adaptive and inclusive asset management in Bangladesh.

If you are interested in finding out more about the dialogues and insights in this meeting, download the more detailed report through the link below.

Download the full report

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