Integration of interests and expertise in the adaptation to climate change in The Netherlands

Anna Wesselink

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Abstract

Much of The Netherlands is vulnerable to flooding and will be even more so if current predictions of climate change impacts are right. In order to prepare for such changes, preliminary investigations were carried out by the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management to explore possibilities for adjusting to increased flood discharges. In the consultations with other stakeholders, a lot of pressure was encountered to minimize the constraints imposed by flood management requirements, because these result in competition for space with other land uses. Setting priorities between these is partly a battle fought at policy level. Still, whatever the outcomes of the national debate, complexities of multiple land use demands need to be solved in specific projects where real interests are at stake and where an integration of expertise and interests is required in order to make a politically acceptable integrated assessment of the different options.
From the findings in case studies of integrated water management in the Netherlands it can be concluded that successful projects show clever interweaving of interests and expertise in concrete results such as regional spatial plans. While the need for appropriate and adaptive process management cannot be underestimated, it is also possible to point out specific input that facilitates this interweaving. The use of flexible and negotiable objectives such as sustainability, safety or landscape quality helps the search for broadly supported solutions. Functionally they are boundary objects; as result they are holistic syntheses emerging from the contributing parts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2008
Event1st International Conference on Adaptive & Integrated Water Management, CAIWA 2007 - Basel, Switzerland
Duration: 12 Nov 200715 Nov 2007
Conference number: 1

Conference

Conference1st International Conference on Adaptive & Integrated Water Management, CAIWA 2007
Abbreviated titleCAIWA
CountrySwitzerland
CityBasel
Period12/11/0715/11/07

Keywords

  • Integrated assessment
  • Water management
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Boundary object
  • Landscape quality

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    Wesselink, A. (2008). Integration of interests and expertise in the adaptation to climate change in The Netherlands. Paper presented at 1st International Conference on Adaptive & Integrated Water Management, CAIWA 2007, Basel, Switzerland.