New Approach to Colombian Coastal Protection

Deltares is a member of the Dutch-Colombian consortium that is advising the Colombian Ministry of Environment (MADS) on the development of a master plan to protect the coast.

The Colombian government is looking for a sustainable and integrated long-term vision for the coast that also takes climate change into account adequately.

To counteract coastal erosion, the Colombian government prefers an integrated approach to the coastal zone. Where possible, they want to draw on the principles of Building with Nature.

Coastal expert Joost Stronkhorst said: “We will be looking at the vulnerability of the Colombian coast to erosion and we will be teaming up on the elaboration of a number of Building with Nature projects. That means developing knowledge together so that coastal protection can be tackled sustainably. We will be involved in discussions for the integrated approach that will center on financing, capacity building, training, and the future monitoring and modelling of the coast.”

Deltares has had regular contact with the Colombian government since 2012 about the challenge of erosion and, at the time, we conducted a quick scan to identify possible coastal solutions based on Building with Nature.

There were also contacts with government bodies recently (in December 2014) looking at an urgent coastal-erosion problem that inflicted severe damage on an important road (the RN90) along the coast of Colombia.

The consortium advising on the development of the master plan is being led by Arcadis. It also includes Royal HaskoningDHV, UNESCO-IHE, Universidad del Norte, Fundación Herencia Ambiental Caribe and Aqua y Terra.

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