Deltas, where the river meets the sea, are dynamic and productive systems where people live and have built civilizations for millennia. Throughout the world they host dense populations and are important centers of food production, livelihoods and industry. These confluences of the sweet and the salty waters are of great ecological significance, featuring wetlands of high and unique biodiversity. Wise management of deltas is crucial for the integrity of ecosystems, economic well being and poverty alleviation.
The world’s deltas are under unprecedented pressure due to human induced change and natural forces. Rapid population growth, land use change, climate change, sea level rise and land subsidence do not only result in significant and irreversible damage to infrastructure, ecosystems and livelihoods but also retard development gains. These complex problems call for concerted action – an integrated framework for decision making incorporating spatial planning, disaster management and risk reduction strategies. The resilience of deltas can only be enhanced through adaptive governance, sound economic instruments and innovative financing.
Enabling Delta Life is a collaborative initiative for water management and governance in deltas between the Global Water Partnership and the Delta Alliance, supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Development Cooperation. The Delta Alliance is an international knowledge-driven network organization with the mission of improving the resilience of the world’s deltas.
The objectives of the initiative are to:
- stimulate increased cooperation worldwide between those involved in the governance of deltas
- strengthen the science-policy interface objective
- develop a framework for analysis and action which will feed into the next GWP and Delta Alliance strategy
- develop a joint GWP – Delta Alliance delta agenda for the next phase.