Champions Group for Deltas & Coastal Areas launched at COP27

Published: 14 November 2022

Today, the Dutch ‘Champions Group for Deltas and Coastal Areas’ initiative was launched at COP27 in Egypt. The Champions are a group of countries facing huge challenges due to climate change, resulting in the need for large climate adaptation investments. Countries who are part of the Champions Group have agreed to share their knowledge and experience, allowing them to better and more quickly adapt to the changing climate. The Champions Group is one of the pillars of the International Panel on Deltas and Coastal Areas (IPDC), which will be officially launched during the UN 2023 Water Conference. As chair of the IPDC secretariat, Deltares will play a crucial role.

Deltas and coastal zones are often highly populated areas that play a significant role in our economy, food systems and biodiversity. At the same time, they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. To encourage international coordination and enhance resilience, the Netherlands has set up the Champions Group for Deltas and Coastal Areas. The Champions Group is one of the pillars of the International Panel on Deltas and Coastal Areas (IPDC).

The Netherlands Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Mark Harbers, said:

‘The changing climate is causing more extreme weather and sea level rise. It is important to avoid further climate change. At the same time, the world must adapt to the new climate. The Netherlands has developed good plans and knowledge to deal with this. For me, water security is a priority that must apply for the whole world. The Champions Group will allow countries with the most climate adaptation expertise to share their knowledge.’

The International Panel on Deltas and Coastal Areas (IPDC)

In the IPCC report published in March 2022, the UN issued an emergency call to all governments to take coordinated and accelerated actions for global climate resilience. The call urged for a joint commitment and a proactive attitude among the governments, scientists, and practitioners – especially in deltas, coastal areas, and small islands – to develop an integrated systems approach.

To answer that call, the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Deltares, the Global Center on Adaptation, and the Delta Alliance joined forces to set up the International Panel on Deltas and Coastal areas (IPDC) with policymakers, academics, investors, and practitioners worldwide.

The group enables harmonised action between countries and Small Islands to realise sustainable management of deltas and coastal zones in the short and medium term. The IPDC will provide area-specific advice to countries on the implementation of their National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) or national climate adaptation strategies.

The Champions Group will play an important role in further shaping the IPDC, which will be officially launched during the UN 2023 Water Conference.

The IPDC Secretariat

The IPDC will be supported by the Secretariat, chaired by Deltares. The Secretariat will be vital to support the IPDC’s functions by organising a range of engagements, including high level meetings, conferences, knowledge exchanges, and workshops. It will also provide support to the Champions Group.

Harm Duel, Head of department Water Resources & Delta Management at Deltares and Chair of the IPDC Secretariat, said:

‘As chair of the IPDC secretariat, Deltares has a crucial role in forming the connection between policy makers, financial institutions, climate adaptation researchers and experts, the knowledge networks, and the executive bodies responsible for carrying out national adaptation plans.’