Deltas, where the river meets the sea, are dynamic and productive systems where people live and have built civilizations for millennia. Throughout the world they host dense populations and are important centers of food production, livelihoods and industry. These confluences of the sweet and the salty waters are of great ecological significance, featuring wetlands of high and unique biodiversity. Wise management of deltas is crucial for the integrity of ecosystems, economic well being and poverty alleviation.
The world’s deltas are under unprecedented pressure due to human induced change and natural forces. Rapid population growth, land use change, climate change, sea level rise and land subsidence do not only result in significant and irreversible damage to infrastructure, ecosystems and livelihoods but also retard development gains. These complex problems call for concerted action – an integrated framework for decision making incorporating spatial planning, disaster management and risk reduction strategies. The resilience of deltas can only be enhanced through adaptive governance, sound economic instruments and innovative financing.
- stimulate increased cooperation worldwide between those involved in the governance of deltas
- strengthen the science-policy interface objective
- develop a framework for analysis and action which will feed into the next GWP and Delta Alliance strategy
- develop a joint GWP – Delta Alliance delta agenda for the next phase.
You are invited to provide your knowledge and experiences in various ways in this project. Join the discussion in our LinkedIn group or contribute online with comments in the discussion paper “What makes deltas different?”, which is also being discussed at a Stockholm World Water Week side event on 28 August 2012.
Photo: Ganges Delta, NASA | Wikimedia Commons