Seminar: River basins and deltas Water Systems and Port Economies in Times of Climate Change: Rhine, Yangtze and Mississippi

On the 150th anniversary of the Nieuwe Waterweg, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Nature Conservancy and the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design are hosting a hybrid seminar on the future of river basins and deltas, 11-12 October 2022. PBL, TNC and CAUPD together lead the Special Policy Study River Basins of the China Council for international Collaboration on Environment and Development.

Maeslantkering in de Nieuwe Waterweg, gezien naar Rotterdam

Multiple aspects of river basins and deltas – namely, a key role in the environmental well-being of the planet, and a key role in economic development - are pre-eminently applicable to the river basins and deltas of Rhine, Yangtze and Mississippi. All three play a key role in the drainage of their continents as well as in economic development. All three rivers are central transport corridors and their deltas are the territories of the largest port complexes of the world.

The seminar ‘River basins and deltas - Water Systems and Port Economies in Times of Climate Change: Rhine, Yangtze and Mississippi’ aims to investigate to what extent the idea of a first (say, 150 years ago) and second (this half-century) game change is relevant for these three river basins and deltas, and in what sense it can give direction to a new approach for a new balance between economic and environmental development.

This seminar, on 11-12 October considering the basins of Rhine, Yangtze and Mississippi, precedes the symposium '150 jaar vooruit Nieuwe Waterweg' held on 13-14 October by the PortCityFutures research association aboard the SS Rotterdam.

Seminar programme

Day 1:  11 October 2022 (13:30 - 17:00 Central European Summer Time)

Time (CEST) Description
14:00 Hans Mommaas (PBL, director-general) -- Welcome and kick-off (15 mins)
14:15 Introductions:
  • Willem Ligtvoet (PBL) - worldwide quantified overview (15 mins)
  • Jaap Kwadijk (Deltares) -- Rhine-Meuse delta (15 mins)
  • LI YuanYuan (General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design, vice-president; National Committee of International Water Resources Association, president) -- Yangtze delta TBC (15 mins, online)
  • Justin Ehrenwerth (Water Institute of the Gulf, CEO) -- Mississippi delta (15 mins, online)
15:15 Pause
15:30 Panel:
  • Anne Loes Nillesen (Defacto, founder), with a focus on spatial implications (5-10 mins)
  • TU Qiyu (Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences), with a focus on social and spatial implications (5-10 mins, online)
  • Arnoud Molenaar (City of Rotterdam, Chief Resilience Officer), with a focus on urban resilience (5-10 mins)
  • Bart Kuipers (Erasmus Centre for Urban, Port and Transport Economics), with a focus on port economy implications (5 – 10 mins)
  • Nicole Silk (TNC, Global Director for Freshwater Outcomes; President and CEO of River Network USA), with a focus on environmental and social implications (5-10 mins, online)
16:15 Discussion moderated by Han Meyer
17:00 Closure

Day 2: 12 October 2022 (13:30 - 17:00 Central European Summer Time)

Time (CEST) Description
14:00 LI Xiaojiang (China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, former president) -- Welcome and kick-off TBC (15 mins, online)
14:15 Introductions:
  • Willem Ligtvoet – worldwide outlook (15 mins)
  • Marjolein Haasnoot (Deltares) -- Rhine-Meuse delta (15 mins)
  • BAO Qifan (Shanghai International Port, former Vice President) -- Yangtze delta TBC (15 mins, online)
  • Derek Hoeferlin (Washington University in St Louis) -- Mississippi delta (15 mins)
15:15 Pause
15:30 Panel:
  • Anne Loes Nillesen, with a focus on spatial implications (5 mins)
  • TU Qiyu, with a focus on social and spatial implications (5 mins, online)
  • Bas Roels (WWF Netherlands) with a focus on natural environment aspects (5-10 mins)
  • Arnoud Molenaar, with a focus on urban resilience (5 mins)
  • Bart Kuipers, with a focus on port economy implications (5 mins)
  • Carline Borest (Port of Rotterdam) with a focus on port development strategy (5-10 mins)
16:15 Discussion and conclusions moderated by Hans Mommaas
16:45 Concluding remarks by Han Meyer
17:00 Closure

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