As erosion along the Colombian coast accelerates, the Ministry of environment and sustainable development (MADS) is implementing a project to halt the deterioration of Caribbean and the Pacific coastlines.

Research institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (Invemar) carries out the project and the experts are trained by the Dutch research institute Deltares.

One third with erosion problems
According to studies by Invemar in 2006, almost 30 percent of the 3,000 miles Colombian coastline has erosion problems. In five areas where the erosion is most intense the first studies are underway to develop medium and long-term mitigation strategies.

The ministry of sustainable development and Invemar anticipated the important phase of technical consultancy to enhance the capacity and competency at 12 involved corporations autonomous regional (CAR) along the Colombian coastline.

In doing so, the ministry and Invemar started a strategic alliance with the Dutch research institute Deltares.

First workshops
The alliance started in November with a workshop in Santa Marta followed by a course in Delft for a group of Colombians from research institutions and a number of regional government authorities. The workshop was organised by Deltares together with UNESCO-IHE.

The aim was to pass on information and elaborate on possible solutions for tackling the erosion specifically in seven coastal areas with ‘urgent’ status. Leader of the workshop was senior advisor on integrated coastal zone management Joost Stronkhorst of Deltares.

The next phase is the training of engineers in Santa Mart.

Implementation of measures
According to Director of seas and coasts of the Ministry of the environment and sustainable development, Elizabeth Taylor the strategic alliance with the Deltares is very important for the coastal erosion project. Mrs. Taylor: "Late January the results we will announced of the first study cases and start implementation of measures".

This news item is based on publications on the websites of El Heraldo (in Spanish) and Deltares.

More information
Delft, the Netherlands
+31 88335 8295

Embajada del Reino de los Países Bajos
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 638 4200