The use of nature and natural processes is an innovative way to increase water safety and create added value through nature development and recreation. This exploratory study provides an initial inventory of the impact and costs of existing Building with Nature projects in the Netherlands. It also includes an analysis of the decision-making process in choosing this type of project and identifies success factors. Building with Nature projects deliver added value but often also involve additional costs compared to traditional reinforcements. These costs give an indication of what we as a society are prepared to pay for the development of nature and recreation as part of hydraulic engineering projects.
Climate change and increasing environmental damage are demonstrating the urgency of transformation to a sustainable global economic model. The implementation of the sustainable development concept tends to narrow to integrating environmental, social, and economic concerns in the decision making. In economics, the definition of such concerns is an externality that represents the divergence between social and private costs. This study investigates the available sustainable asset valuation methods that can include the externalities materialised in maritime infrastructure projects and compares them based on economic, social and environmental criteria.
In today’s world, expectations for sustainable practices are fast becoming the norm. Countries, the public and communities are requesting transparency, the application of higher environmental standards and involvement in decision-making processes when new developments in a marine environment are proposed. Marine infrastructure projects not only require environmental permits and works licences to be in place, they also need a Social Licence to Operate (SLO). This article describes the social licence in this fast-changing context of information and technology, and explores tools that can be used to develop a ‘responsible project’ and provide a successful and sustainable outcome for society and the environment.
Presentation: ‘Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Defence an example of sustainable asset valuatio’ by Sven Kramer (Van Oord) − Director Sustainability
This presentation shows the practical implications of taking all externalities into consideration as early as possible in a project procedure. It is complex but asset valuation is gradually becoming more and more feasible for large infrastructure projects. The independent International Institute of Sustainable Development carried out a study on the benefits of “Nature Based” coastal Protection compared to traditional “Grey” solutions. Their report is expected to be published mid-November 2021.
Presentation: ‘There is ”more” in maritime infrastructure‘ by Marc Huygens (DEME) − Environmental Manager
There are opportunities to develop and implement new solutions for maritime infrastructure challenges. In addition to technical-economical values there is a big commitment to create both environmental and social values. To take the industry to the next level it is necessary to attract students and young professionals to the industry to ensure all externalities are taken into consideration from the onset of a project. The “Social Benefits Wheel” is a tool that can help track the degree to which a project or programme is attaining its social development targets and goals.
A full consideration of ecosystem services (ES) impacts, interactions and improvements can result in more sustainable and adaptive solutions for dredging and marine construction projects. Furthermore, the benefits can be translated in monetary terms, providing returns on investment and highlighting the links between ecology and economy. For some however, the ES concept is too theoretical. This article seeks to show how the ES concept can actively be applied at any point during a project and the benefits of doing so. Its purpose is to provide a framework for integrated and interdisciplinary thinking throughout the different steps of the project cycle.
Taking a fresh look at traditional, unsustainable coastal defence methods. A pioneering project discovers some inspiring concepts, including using biogenic reefs for ecosystem-based flood defence.
Managing sediments, especially from dredging, is important for the management of estuaries and coastal areas. When implemented in the right way, a sediment management strategy can be qualified as a nature-based solution as it uses the physical processes of erosion and sedimentation to create added value. There is a need for an evaluation of sediment strategies and the habitats that are created for a wider range of objectives than only biodiversity and nature conservation. The concept of ecosystem services provides this broader framework.