Deltas are places where water meets water. Places where land and sea meet in delicate equilibria. Places where, due to bountiful surroundings, people have gathered since earliest times. Places, where the richness of the sea merges with the fresh water of rivers. Deltas inspire our imagination.
Deltas have acquired many functions over the centuries; shipping, agriculture, fishing, housing, industries, recreation and protection from the elements are just some of them. Deltas house them all, in close quarters, often pressured by our pursuit of economic development. Today, deltas face even greater pressures due to the effect of climate change.
It was for these reasons that we organized the first international conference Deltas in Times of Climate Change, held in the city of Rotterdam at the end of September 2010. The conference drew over 1200 participants; scientists, policy makers, the business community and practitioners from 12 deltas and over 60 countries. Participants discussed diverse subjects of importance to deltas; they helped build networks between and within those concerned about the future of deltas.
To take this effort further we have created this magazine and webpages. By covering the broad spectrum of delta issues and examples on human interaction with nature we hope to inspire those who are actively involved in enabling a sustainable life in the worlds deltas. The magazine contributes to extending delta networks: ours and, hopefully, yours. We hope it helps you to get in touch with those who might have the solution to challenges facing your delta.
The Conference Steering Commitee
Prof Pier Vellinga
Knowledge for Climate programme
Director of Climate Affairs, City of Rotterdam
Dr Raimond Hafkenscheid
Cooperative Program on Water and Climate