We’re almost done with the European Climate Change Adaptation webinars! So far, we learned about financing adaptation, the effects of climate change on health or how basing adaptation solutions on nature will become more essential as time goes by. Our project leader Bart van der Hurk was joined by IPCC authors during a session on sea level rise (SLR). Together, they explored the challenges and best practices for the management of coastal areas facing sea level rise.

The session opened with three experts on SLR research and policy implementation that shared local coastal adaptation strategies throughout Europe.

Prof. Marjolijn Haasnoot, lead Author of the IPCC AR6 WG-II, explained about the uncertainty around sea level rise. She explored how European countries are preparing for SLR, and how, as SLR is becoming faster, adaptation measures from a few decades ago are outdated earlier than initially planned. Prof. Haasnoot shared how braking down sea level rise into steps makes it much more manageable.

Dr. Jacobus Hofstede from the German Ministry of Environment took participants through the Schleswig-Holstein Case and shared his experience in Coastal Flood & Erosion Risk Management. He explained how sea embankments can be strengthened and broadened to compensate for SLR, but these also take up a lot of space. Therefore, Dr. Hofstede insisted on the importance of ecosystem services such as salt marshes to curb further SLR.

Dr. Robert Nicholls explored how the UK has been transforming to face flooding over the last 60 years. He shared the various approaches that are used to preserve communities, from protection measures, to accommodation and even retreat. His takeaway message? The importance of moving from coastal risk management to coastal resilience planning.

The last keynote speaker of the session, Dr Annemiek Roeling, took participants through the vulnerability of the Netherlands to flooding. She looked at how adaptation measures need to take into account other important activities for the Netherlands, such as housing, agriculture, electricity facilities and of course nature.

Find the entire ECCA 2021 session on “Living with Sea Level Rise: Approaches to coastal adaptation” on YouTube, as well as the panel discussions.

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Published on : 08 June 2021