Future Deltas Summer School

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Monday, 04 July 00:00 - Saturday, 09 July 00:00

This course focuses on sustainable management of river deltas, that are increasingly
under pressure of climate change and human impacts. Deltas are valuable areas,
providing many services that are essential for humans such as fertile soils, fresh
water, (river) transportation networks, low-relief accessible land, water purification
and support of high biodiversity. Because of all these benefits hundreds of millions of
people live in deltas worldwide, often in mega-cities.

In these populated deltas, activities of delta inhabitants often disturb the natural
complex and dynamic balance of delta-forming processes, thereby putting deltas at
risk. For example, deltas are under pressure from accelerated sea-level rise due to
global warming, altered water and sediment discharge due to dike, dam and reservoir
construction, accelerated land subsidence due to drainage and extraction of
groundwater and hydrocarbons, and loss of habitats and biodiversity due to land use
change. These changes also affect livelihood conditions and potentially societies. To
deal with the changing delta conditions and to ensure a sustainable future delta life,
we need to understand the driving processes of change in a delta, predict impacts and
optimize management solutions. This requires a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating
natural (e.g. physical, biological, chemical) and social (e.g. governance, law,
socio-economic) sciences.

The programme consists of lectures, practicals, discussions and self-study (literature
study, data analysis) sessions. Multi-disciplinary teams are established to work on
integrated analysis of (1) drivers of change in deltas, (2) impacts of these changes and
(3) solutions for sustainable management of deltas under pressure. Each team chooses
one delta to study, for which a subgroup or individual team member investigates one of
the following subjects: physical setting, ecology, institutional and socio-economic
aspects, and legal aspects.

COURSE LEADER: dr. Esther Stouthamer, dr. Frank van Laerhoven, dr. Sanneke van Asselen
PERIOD: 4 July - 9 July 2016
FEE: €850 (including housing)
MORE INFORMATION: www.utrechtsummerschool.nl


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