Press digest

2017 November 6

Dredging Today Conference: Climate Change Is Real, Better Be Prepared

Climate change is real, so better be prepared. Everybody, personally and also as an industry, should make a contribution in fighting climate change.

That was the final thought of our first Dredging Today Conference, beautifully put by Mr Mark van Zanten, Senior Project Manager Water, Royal HaskoningDHV.

At the conference, held in Amsterdam on October 9-10, Mr van Zanten also highlighted “need for water safe/resilient development to deal with the effects of climate change,” during his presentation about sustainable development of land reclamation.

With rising sea levels, the polder alternative becomes more attractive, according to the Royal HaskoningDHV expert.

Indeed, all participants at the conference witnessed the fact that the dredging community needs to be aware of the projected changes and the type of adaptations likely to be required.

A fact is that the dredging community involves not only the dredging industry (contractors, manufacturers) but also port and water authorities, policy makers, regulators, consultants and other different stakeholder groups.

Speaking about climate change adaptations of ports and inland waterways – Ine Moulaert, Senior Engineer Marine Environmental Department, Jan de Nul, Member, PIANC Working Group 178 on Climate Change Adaptation, said that one of PIANC objectives is to develop an approach on climate change adaptation planning and delivery.

Another clear conclusion made at our conference was that the rising sea levels will increase the flood-risk and erosion along the coast but may also impact freshwater availability or result in an accelerated loss of coastal ecosystems like wetlands and mangroves.

During the event, moderated by Alexander Verbeek – an Associate at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), all experts emphasized the importance of adapting to these potential effects by developing and implementing coastal protection and adaptation strategies.

The first Dredging Today Conference was closed by Femke Perlot-Hoogeveen, the Conference Manager.

In these two days, DTC also showed its international focus; comprehensive session blocks were devoted to answering the question: How the world in which the dredging industry operates is changing.