The planet is facing enormous challenges caused by human activity, increasing the vulnerability of communities and ecosystems to the forces of nature. This is worsened by the effects of climate change, which is threatening the world’s coastal defences. Van Oord has responded to these challenges by developing the Climate Adaptation Action Plan. The plan is designed to encourage meaningful dialogue between stakeholders in order to provide ready-to-scale marine solutions that help increase the resilience of the communities and ecosystems of coastal areas.
Over the past decades, there has been a growing interest in exploring innovative ways to minimise the environmental footprint of coastal developments and in nature-based approaches for shoreline protection. At Mubarraz Island near Abu Dhabi (UAE), an international oil company beneficially reused ~12 million m³ of dredged material to protect pipelines, construct a causeway and create mangrove habitat to manage coastal erosion. This ‘Working with Nature’ approach has provided a cost-effective nature-based solution for shoreline protection, with added benefits for biodiversity conservation.
Building with Nature is an innovative approach that combines natural processes with innovative engineering methods to realise sustainable projects. Permeable dams are being utilised as part of a Building with Nature solution to help restore the eroding mangrove-mud coast of the Demak district in central Java, Indonesia.
The Niger Delta is located in the southern part of Nigeria bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is a floodplain of over 70,000 sq km. The delta is poorly serviced by roads and is made up of meandering creeks that are highly silted up.