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Question: Can we already responsibly promote replication elsewhere or not?


Permeable dams have been applied (and researched) for centuries in the Netherlands and Germany (called salt marsh works), and in that sense the approach is not new. In the tropics, the approach is also being tested and researched in Vietnam and more recently a pilot started in Surinam. We are in close contact with these projects so that we can learn from each other. Our first pilots in Indonesia (Demak) demonstrated that the approach is at least technically feasible and our first monitoring results confirm this.

However, the permeable dams should be part of a broader set of technical and socio-economic measures at the landscape scale, and need to be implemented with multiple stakeholders and embedded in policy to be successful in the longer run. Rather than promoting permeable dams as a single issue measure we are therefore promoting the Building with Nature approach. This approach is based on system understanding/problem analysis and develops landscape scale solutions with stakeholders.

There are many different types of Building with Nature solutions for many different settings. There is a risk that others replicate the permeable dams as a stand-alone measure in the wrong place. This cannot be entirely avoided. To address this risk we are e.g. setting up a Building with Nature training program (initially aimed at Indonesia), developing guidelines and sharing knowledge and lessons learned.

More Questions & Answers:

Building with Nature is innovative and site specific and it operates in areas where the understanding of systems is limited and where changes are dynamic. In our pilot project in Indonesia, we have therefore adopted a strategy of learning-by-doing and we are sharing our knowledge and the lessons we learn widely to support the sound replication of our approach. In this document, we provide answers to the most regularly posted questions to us.