Setting the scene report for Water as Leverage Wadden Sea Region ready - #SayWad?!
An international partnership of communities, authorities and societal organizations have the ambition to work in an innovative way on Climate Adaptation in and around the Wadden Sea. The Wadden Sea is a UNESCO world heritage site on the borders of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands and the largest intertidal nature area in the world. The communities feel that climate change has impact on their lives with water safety, fresh water availability for agriculture and drinking water and nature as key issues. They plan an international Water as Leverage Wadden Sea Region program to address these issues and create a positive perspective for the future.
The impact climate change will have on people and nature in the Wadden Sea Region is severe. The sea level will rise and the storm intensity will increase, leading to more risk of flooding. In the long run this can as well mean that the intertidal nature area will drown. As well the intensity of the rainfall will increase and at the same time there will be longer dry periods leading on the one hand to more risk of flooding in the hinterland and on the other hand to salinization of agricultural land. Thirdly the temperature will rise leading to a strong impact on the ecosystems as the food chains are time interdependent
The international partnership Water as Leverage Wadden Sea Region has – with the support of Architecture Workroom Brussels – developed and overview of the challenges in relation to climate change in the Wadden Sea Region as a whole and in different pilot areas. The partnership consists of communities, authorities and societal organizations which feel the urgency to adapt to a the changing climate and have the leadership to do so. The island of Texel, the island of Terschelling, city of Harlingen (the Netherlands), the city of Emden, the region of Cuxhaven (Germany), the city of Ribe, the city of Esbjerg and the island of Fanø are the proposed pilot areas where to work on innovative, inclusive and scalable solutions.
Further more the ambition is to create a growing movement of organisations, people and businesses that work on climate adaptation. It is an open source program in which more organisations will be involved and from which more people can learn. So the region and its people have a good future ahead and it can inspire other delta regions in Europe and world wide. The partnership is committed to invest in the program and it presented the proposal to the Interreg North Sea Region program.
The setting the scene document is an important first step in this partnership.