Saturday, 1 February 2014

Deltanet Conference in Ghent

Last Monday, Dynamic Deltas team members Jeroen Warner, Arjen Zegwaard and myself joined the Deltanet international conference on interregional cooperation between European deltas. Deltanet is an EU-funded programme to stimulate knowledge exchange between deltas in Spain/Portugal, Belgium/the Netherlands, UK, Romania, Germany and Poland.

It was quite nice to hear, for example, stories about the Schelde from the Belgian perspective. Usually Dutch people (with myself as a now outdated example...) tend to think about the Southwestern Delta only in terms of Dutch issues: 1953 flood, Hedwigepolder, nature development/coastal protection, water quality issues in the Volkerrak, sedimentation issues, salt water intrusion. But ofcourse also across the border, many issues are going on and plans are being developed to deal with them. See for example the
Belgian Sigma plan. This needs international collaboration in order to work according to an integrated approach.

Next to that I could (re-)establish links with persons working in the
Danube delta, the Ebro delta, and the Minho delta. So far, the programme will end March next year but the consortium partners are now thinking and working on applying for a next phase.

Ofcourse a visit to Ghent could not be limited to just going and coming back the same day (which is in logistical terms almost impossible). So we went already on Sunday afternoon, enjoyed a Ghent stoofvlees dish with Belgian beer (picture by Arjen) and slept in an old
monastry, to complete the 'total experience'.

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