EcoShape – Building with Nature is a network of organizations and individuals, working together to advance the application of Building with Nature in water related societal issues. Building with Nature is a philosophy about the design and construction of water related infrastructure that harnesses the forces of nature for the benefit of nature and humans, thereby strengthening nature, economy and society.
EcoShape is a foundation under Dutch law, that facilitates the Building with Nature network. EcoShape coordinates, facilitates and orchestrates the activities within the Building with Nature network and community. The ambition of the network is to contribute to the realization of the Global Goals (sdgs.un.org/goals), addressing societal challenges through Building with Nature solutions on a landscape scale.
To make this possible we stimulate knowledge development via pilot projects, to demonstrate and monitor Building with Nature in practice (Nature-Based Solutions). Based on the monitoring results, guidelines for replication and scaling up are developed and disseminated through the website of EcoShape.
To carry out projects and related applied knowledge development, EcoShape has concluded a consortium agreement with 15 parties (engineering consultants, knowledge institutes, contractors and NGO’s). Furthermore, EcoShape regularly collaborates with parties outside the signatories to the consortium agreement, e.g. with public parties and universities. EcoShape has a central organisation (staff of 8, together 4 fte). Each pilot project has its own project organisation staffed by EcoShape partners. All together EcoShape has carried out a nett worth of EUR 70 million of projects since 2008.
Working with EcoShape
EcoShape acts as the coordinating agency for the Building with Nature community. Around certain topics, challenges or opportunities organizations have formed sub-communities, to address these challenges, topics or opportunities. These are called ‘tables’.
Projects, pilots or programmes which are the result of the activities of tables, are being carried out by consortia of EcoShape partners. EcoShape continues to work with these projects, to disseminate knowledge and experience gained and to produce additional guidelines for replication and scaling up based on these projects.
Each project has its own financing structure. Rates for engineering consultants and knowledge institutes are based on cost prices of individuals but can be lower (or higher) than the cost price. In many projects maximum compensation is governed by subsidies which have been attracted.
Examples of collaboration: Mangrove restoration in Indonesia
Alliance partner: in the Demak Coastal Rehabilitation project EcoShape acts as alliance partner of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Ministry of Public Works and Housing and Wetlands International. In the programme EcoShape is the contracting platform through which all resources flow and are being contracted and sub-contracted. Sub-contractors include several parties that are not formal members of the EcoShape consortium. Fundamental decisions in the project are taken in a steering group of the four parties in which EcoShape is represented.
Examples of collaboration: Clay Ripener
Client-Contractor relationship: in the Clay Ripening pilot project EcoShape works as contractor with a specific assignment which is contracted through a public party. The project entails construction works, consultancy works and knowledge development. EcoShape has subcontracted each of these works to its partners. Fundamental decisions in the project are taken in a steering group of mainly public parties and NGO’s in which EcoShape is not represented.
After founding EcoShape in 2008, we used the first four years to stimulate a change in thinking about hydraulic engineering solutions. We showed that Building with Nature offers great opportunities to come up with innovative solutions. We created awareness and started field experiments to test our solutions in practice. Since 2012, we continue our work on strengthening the knowledge base. We develop tools to support the implementation and assessment of suitability of Building with Nature solutions.
In recent years partners within EcoShape have built up a wealth of knowledge and experience. This knowledge is captured on this website in the section ‘Get Started’.