Building with Nature Asia Table

About the Building with Nature Asia Table

With more than 100 million people flood-exposed along coastlines, rivers and in cities such as Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila, decision makers in Asia are faced with the complex challenge to maintain natural environmental defenses and deliver socially beneficial, climate-resilient hydraulic infrastructure. Rapid urbanization and economic growth are coupled with increasingly devastating impacts from ecosystem degradation and climate change. This situation is exacerbated by the often single solution focused traditional response to water-mediated risks. There is an urgent need for employing socially and ecologically inclusive water engineering solutions in Asia to accelerate adaptation and sustainable development. The table brings together EcoShape partners and guest organizations with a shared ambition of mainstreaming Building with Nature in Asia.

The Building with Nature Asia Initiative

The Building with Nature Asia initiative has the long-term vision to mainstream Building with Nature across the Asian continent. The initiative will work closely with local and national stakeholders in the convening countries – Indonesia, Philippines, India, Malaysia and China – as well as with development banks, research institutes, private sector and civil society to create an enabling environment to large-scale adoption of the approach at national and regional scales. At local level the initiative will develop sustainable coastal solutions at scale to adapt to climate change, while boosting benefits such as fisheries, carbon sequestration, recreation and biodiversity. As these solutions are designed in close collaboration with local communities and aim to meet local needs, they tend to meet less local resistance than large conventional or “grey” infrastructural measures and are more sustainable and climate resilient in the long term and therefore more cost effective.

Primary Purpose

The table will build on large scale-existing demonstration projects in the Netherlands and Indonesia to implement the Building with Nature approach in 15 landscapes in five countries in Asia by 2030; and roll out our up-scaling model, thus inspiring spin-off in other landscapes and boosting the resilience of 30 million people.

The table focuses on creating a regional platform in Asia to facilitate an enabling environment for Building with Nature through work packages that provide training, support communications and policy dialogue, foster exchange between countries and fill gaps in knowledge. In doing so it addresses regional barriers to large scale adoption of Building with Nature.

Nested under this platform, country programmes develop landscape propositions that aim to nurture large-scale investment in Building with Nature bottom up as well as activities that create an enabling environment at national scales. This includes supporting the development of policies and plans, building codes and engineering guidelines that support uptake of the approach.

Ambitions and Key Factors

The Building with Nature Asia initiative aims to increase the resilience of 30 million vulnerable people in cities and settlements along vulnerable coasts and rivers by 2030 while restoring thousands of hectares of vulnerable ecosystems across.

More specifically we aim to ensure that:

  1. Business-cases for Building with Nature are developed and nurtured across at least 15 landscapes in five countries in Asia, leveraging public-private investment;
  2. An enabling policy and investment climate is in place, supporting large scale adoption of Building with Nature solutions;
  3. Leading representatives from the government and civil engineering sector from the convening countries are committed to and able to promote Building with Nature as a leading design philosophy for river basin and coastal zone management.

Tracks and Projects

• Building with Nature Asia Country Programmes – Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, India and China
• Building with Nature Singapore – Collaboration with Centre of Livable Cities

Building with Nature Indonesia Mangrove restoration Demak Indonesia
• Mumanco NWO Research project, Demak, Indonesia


The table has started and the beginning stages are taking place.


Trang Vu
[email protected]
Susanna Tol
Wetlands International
[email protected]