The most serious threat facing the North Sea Region (NSR) is climate change, increasing flood and coastal erosion risk from storm surges in coastal and estuarine areas and heavy rain causing flooding of rivers and lakes inland.
The Interreg Building with Nature (BwN) project demonstrates BwN solutions that utilize natural processes to deliver flood risk and coastal erosion management whilst enhancing ecosystem services. However, the performance of BwN solutions is uncertain and hampers wider uptake across NSR. A common transnational evidence base is needed to justify investments and optimise the effectiveness of BwN solutions (EC, 2015).
The overall objective of the BwN project is to make coasts, estuaries and catchments of the NSR more adaptable and resilient to the effects of climate change. BwN will demonstrate BwN-based climate change adaptation solutions at 7 coastal target sites in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden (sand nourishment at North Sea Coasts and Wadden Sea Barrier islands) and at 6 catchment scale sites in Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom (Scotland) (e.g. river restoration).
BwN creates joint transnational monitoring programmes, uses state-of-the-art analysis methods, develops improved designs and business cases. The laboratories generate the evidence-base to incorporate BwN in national policy and investment programmes of each of the NSR countries (worth >€200M/y). BwN gathers (national) governments that manage most of the North Sea coast, Wadden Sea and river basins and thus provide critical mass for major uptake.
The Netherlands: Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment), EcoShape, Waterschap Noorderzijlvest, UNESCO-IHE Norway: Norges vassdrags - og energidirektorat Germany: Niedersächsischer Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz, Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Landesbetrieb für Küstenschutz, Nationalpark und Meeresschutz des Landes Schleswig-Holstein Sweden: Lansstyrelsen Skane - The County Administrative Board of Skane Belgium: Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij, Agentschap voor Maritieme Dienstverlening en Kust Denmark: Kystdirektoratet Scotland: (United Kingdom), Scottish Catchment Group