Deltas, which are home to more than 80 percent of the world’s population, are under increasing pressure from population growth, economic development, and climate change. As a consequence, basic needs such as food, water, health, and shelter are in danger. Deltas thus pose important challenges for the post-2015 development agenda, especially in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Delta governance is an essential but complex process for dealing with dynamic deltas.
“Our future depends on the relation we build between science and policy” said Irina Bokova, director-general of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the launch of the United Nations Scientific Advisory Board in January 2014. The interface formed by the triangle science, policy and society is a crucial component of delta governance.
Researchers need to communicate scientific findings in an appropriate and accessible way to policymakers and civil society for those actors to make the best possible choices in drawing up policies aiming at sustainable solutions to environmental problems.
Researchers need to communicate scientific findings in an appropriate and accessible way to policymakers and civil society for those actors to make the best possible choices in drawing up policies aiming at sustainable solutions to environmental problems. Designing sustainable and equitable policies should be based on solid scientific ground and should respond to the needs of societies and people. This will benefit from cocreation: scientists, policymakers, and civil society jointly seek the best way of understanding and guiding complex change processes.
This policy brief reflects on key lessons learned and the way forward in three deltas: the RhineMeuse Delta in the Netherlands, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, and the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta in the United States. The authors aim to share general insights and lessons learned in the governance of climate adaptation in deltas, recognizing that each delta requires context-specific approaches.2 Based on the workshop’s synthesized overview, the brief offers recommendations for improving delta governance. These recommendations are targeted at practitioners, policymakers, and researchers working on climate change, environmental policy, politics, and governance.Download PDF