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GM7.2/ERE2.4/HS11.17/OS2.6 Media

Sustainable management of river deltas under pressure (co-organized)
Convener: Esther Stouthamer  | Co-Conveners: Hans Middelkoop , Liviu Giosan , Robert Nicholls 
 / Fri, 28 Apr, 15:30–17:00
 / Attendance Fri, 28 Apr, 17:30–19:00

River deltas are complex and dynamic landforms, shaped by both natural and human-induced processes. In recent times, natural processes in river delta deltas are increasingly being disturbed by human activities, putting the survival of deltas and their hundreds of millions of inhabitants at risk. To date, many deltas are under pressure from accelerated sea-level rise due to global warming, increased frequency and magnitude of extreme climate events, 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. The main consequences of these pressures are delta drowning, flooding and degradation of the environment. To deal with these changing conditions and to ensure a sustainable future delta life, we need to better understand both recognized and unrecognized driving processes of change in deltas, predict their impacts and, based on this knowledge, optimize management solutions. This requires a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating physical, biological, chemical and social sciences.

The aim of this session is to bring together knowledge of both natural and societal processes acting in a delta, and their impacts, which is essential to find sustainable solutions for delta management, in particular using strategies that are based on building with nature concepts. Therefore, we invite contributions to this session on (1) human-induced processes driving change in river deltas, (2) impacts of these changing conditions, and (3) optimizing delta management solutions, in particular by using a multi-disciplinary approach.