First Cross-Border icon group on Innovative Water Retaining Landscapes | Marine@Ugent

First Cross-Border icon group on Innovative Water Retaining Landscapes

The Flemish-Dutch Collaboration Platform on Delta Issues, coordinated by UGent and Campus Zeeland, takes up the challenge of preserving a safe and prosperous Flemish-Dutch delta and making it climate-proof through scientific and practice-oriented research.

This will be achieved through three icon projects, including the icon project Innovative Water Retaining Landscapes. On 23 March, the first digital Cross-Border icon group meeting took place, with the aim to discuss and evaluate opportunities and directions for cross-border cooperation on this topic.

During the meeting an overview was provided by both a Dutch and Flemish stakeholder representative on the complexity of the problem on each side of the border and the added value of cross-border cooperation and social innovation.

Mrs Hannelore Maelfait (Province West-Flanders) provided a concise overview on the challenges for the Belgian Coast and some of the main difference with the Netherlands. In Flanders the spatial scale solutions for coastal defence is much smaller and the sense of urgency about the treat of Sea level rise is less high than in Zeeland.

Dhr Leo Adriaanse (Rijkswaterstaat) summarised the challenges which they face in the Netherlands, where short and long term interests are hard to combine. Generating solutions together with all actors and civil society will be important to create a team spirit and trust.

The meeting concluded that the insights and experience in each country is very valuable. Challenges and potential solutions may be different but the need for social support of all developments is of utmost importance.  The organizers will take back this feedback and report back with a course of action. 

Many thanks to all participants for their input.