Helping small islands by sharing knowledge through ‘Simple Coast’

Published: 18 December 2015

Small island states are already being threatened by the effects of climate change. Violent storms and rising sea levels mean they must act quickly to protect their coastlines, and therefore their islands. Coastal erosion and floods on these islands are inflicting rising levels of socio-economic damage and many fragile ecosystems are also under threat.

Sharing Simple Coast knowledge and tools

Under the ‘SimpleCoast’ banner, Deltares supplies knowledge notes and tools through World Bank initiatives. This allows managers and practitioners from small islands to investigate the problems in a relative simple way and to determine courses of action. The facility is therefore primarily for those islands with little experience in this area, or who lack adequate financial resources. They will usually be local government authorities, universities and consultants.

Easily applicable knowledge

The knowledge about coastal protection measures will, in part, cover easily applicable, environmentally friendly measures such as building with nature. This can often benefit the islands because of the flexibility of the measures and the ready availability of the building materials. Examples are: using sand to widen the coastline (which may ultimately also reduce salinisation), and the preservation of coral reefs (enhancing coastal protection by mitigating the impact of waves).

Workshops and training

As well as sharing the knowledge, Deltares is also organising workshops and training in which the focus is on setting up monitoring and on how to draw on data and tools as a basis for effective action. Policymakers are also told how they can use this information in line with the ‘adaptive planning’ method. The first workshops will take place in February 2016.

Close cooperation with others

SimpleCoast is being run in close collaboration with other World Bank projects, for example in West Africa and Sao Tome, and the SISRI (Small Island States Resilience Initiative).
The Small Island States will meet again at the Understanding Risk Conference organised by the World Bank (Istanbul, 16-20 May 2016) Side events in the form of trainings and joint presentations for Small Island States participants will be organized by SimpleCoast and SISRI.