Joint Cooperation Programme Bangladesh – The Netherlands

Published: 18 June 2019

For a long time, Bangladesh has been battling risks from natural hazards and simultaneously building the necessary physical and governance conditions for sustainable development of the country. The recently developed Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 is in this a leading guideline and framework.

Knowledge development in support of resilient development is a key feature of this Delta Plan. A formal signing ceremony of the Joint Cooperation Programme between Bangladesh and The Netherlands was held today.

Four-year programme

This four-year programme, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and set up between the Institute of Water Modelling (IWM), the Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS), Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and Deltares is aimed at developing and initiating long term knowledge sharing and capacity building between these institutes in the fields of integrated water resources management, integrated coastal zones management, flood and drought management, urban water management and adaptive planning.

Official signing ceremony

During the session, held with support of Professor Shamsul Alam, Senior Secretary of the General Economic Division of the Planning Commission, and Kabir bin Anwar, Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, as well as Mr. Harry Verweij, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, an official signing ceremony between the involved institutes took place to commence the programme.

Four signing institutes: CEGIS, IWM, Deltares and WUR. From left to right:
Md. Waji Ullah (Executive Director Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services), Bram de Vos (Managing Director Wageningen University and Research), H.E. Mr. Harry Verweij (Ambassador, Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bangladesh), Mr. Rokun Ud-doula (Additional Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, The People’s Republic of Bangladesh), Peter de Vries (Thematic Expert Water Management, Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bangladesh), Maarten Smits (Managing Director Deltares), Prof. dr. M. Monowar Hossain (Executive Director, Institute of Water Modelling).

Maarten Smits (Managing Director Deltares): “There’s a lot we can learn from this joint cooperation programme. We can find out more about the modelling of a complex delta and the highly dynamic behaviour of its coasts and rivers, about the management of polders and about monitoring severely polluted rivers. But most of all, we can learn from the search for workable solutions in a different political and policy environment than in the Netherlands. And the collaboration with excellent local partners such as IWM and CEGIS will bring us a lot of knowledge and experience. With Wageningen University and Research Centre, we are highly motivated to make this a success for the purposes of the sustainable improvement of welfare in Bangladesh”.

Outputs of the programme

The focus of the programme is on applied research related to work of the Planning Commission, the Water Development Board, the Department of Environment, the Department of Agricultural Extension, and the International Centre for Climate Change Adaptation and Development. Foreseen outputs are:

  • an application to access the knowledge portal of the delta plan
  • improved polder management and governance
  • real time water quality monitoring around Dhaka city
  • a meta model to structurally and integrally assess investments for the Bangladesh Delta Plan
  • sediment management for restoration of the old Brahmaputra river
  • insights in the future water requirements in agriculture