Report on Training Workshop: Challenges and Approaches in River Delta Planning, Sharing experiences (22-26 October 2012)


Report on Training Workshop: Challenges and Approaches in River Delta Planning, Sharing experiences from South East Asia Deltas and the Rhine-Meuse Delta (22-26 October 2012).
Location: The Centre of Water Management and Climate Change (WACC) at Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Climate change, which includes increases in temperature, changes in rainfall patterns, sea level rise, salt water intrusion and a higher probability of extreme weather events such as high intensity rainfall induced floods, drought and typhoon driven storm surges, is recognised as a global issue. The negative effects of these changes are likely to be felt more strongly in the less developed world compared to developed countries, as a large share of the population live in exposed areas where they depend directly on natural resources for their livelihood and have limited institutional capacities to take proactive measures. The deltas of Mekong (Vietnam), Ganges Brahmaputra (Bangladesh) and Ciliwung (Indonesia) are the largest areas to suffer the severe impacts of climate change due to their low elevation, high population density and high dependency of local settlers on agriculture and aquaculture.

There is much to learn from rural people in these deltas who always have lived with floods, droughts, typhoons, and have developed many adaptation strategies to deal with such risks over the centuries. During the training workshop the 37 participants from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Netherlands were:

  • Exposed to the latest thinking of delta planning, its multiple dimensions, places in a development context
  • Familiarized with approaches how to address these dimensions – also considering uncertainty – and (institutional) conditions for implementation
  • Learning from examples and experiences of approaches of delta planning from the deltas represented
  • Provided with a forum for knowledge networking between participants, and between participants an resource persons of the institutes involved.

During the training workshop different scenarios have been developed for the four combinations of high and low socio-economic growth and of high and low climate change. This was done for the three deltas separately as well as for the upland, rural and coastal areas of the three deltas combined. For each scenario a strategy was developed consisting of both hard and soft measures. The strategies were evaluated based on their effectiveness, economic costs, side-effects, flexibility and acceptance. The training workshop offered a balanced combination of interactive lectures, case studies, field visit, and group assignments and discussions.

According to the participants, the training workshop did live up to their expectations. This success can be attributed to the attractive format of the workshop, the high professional level of the participants, the excellent quality of the facilitators and the friendly atmosphere created by the Vietnamese host. The participants expressed their desire that this training workshop is to be repeated in the future in a different host country with different key delta issues. 

Delta Alliance Secretary
Thursday 22 November 2012
Share this: