Deltas in Times of Climate Change
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
29 September - 1 October 2010
Results of the conference with video, audio, picture galleries, presentations, meeting reports
Summary of the conference
The first international delta conference Deltas in Times of Climate Change in Rotterdam was a tremendous success. The conference attracted over 1.200 participants from all over the world and from different backgrounds: science, policy and practice. The participants debated climate adaptation strategies for deltas and delta cities and exchanged knowledge, which was widely offered in 70+ sessions. Many contacts between scientists, policy makers and practitioners were established, refreshed and deepened. Relations between delta cities in and outside Connecting Delta Cities (CDC) were strengthened and the Delta Alliance was launched.
High profile guests during the opening session included His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, who gave the opening speech, Nguyen Thai Lai (Vice Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam), Ahmed Aboutaleb (Mayor of Rotterdam), Delta Commissioner Wim Kuijken and Cedric Grant (Deputee Mayor of New Orleans) who gave a moving presentation on the state of New Orleans five years after Katrina. The audience was updated by Michael Oppenheimer (Princeton University, USA) and Martin Parry (Imperial College London, United Kingdom) about sea level rise and other factors playing a crucial role in deltas. Pavel Kabat (Climate changes Spatial Planning) gave a presentation on Dutch climate research and Malcom Smith (architect at ARUP) triggered the audience with a few challenging thoughts for the rest of the conference. The opening session was closed with the Deltas of the Future Award Ceremony.
Some of the main conclusions of the conference
- an integrative approach is essential for deltas to adapt to climate change
- climate adaptation offers an abundance of economic opportunities, i.e. mass retrofitting and innovative building and architecture
- megacities with subsidence are extra vulnerable to climate change
- competing land claims will continue
- we already have the techniques, we should focus on its application
- we do not lack knowledge as much as skilled people who can practically apply adaptation measures
- health issues related to climate change are neglected
- delta cities refuse to wait for their governments to take action: they set up their own bilateral, urban and private initiatives
- delta cities demand a formalised position in the allocation of international funds
The results of the conference are available (presentations, speeches, audio, video, meeting reports, picture galleries).
The hosts of the conference would like to thank all sponsors, presenters and participants for their contribution to a successful conference.
The conference was hosted by two Dutch Research Programmes, Climate changes Spatial Planning and Knowledge for Climate, and the City of Rotterdam. It was supported by C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group (a group of the world's largest cities committed to tackling climate change) and the Co-operative Programme on Water and Climate (CPWC).