Deltares and Marshall Islands work together on battle against climate change
A new strategic partnership between the government of The Republic of the Marshall Islands and Deltares aims to develop and share knowledge required to tackle current and future challenges such as sea level rise and natural hazards. On July 28th 2021, the Government of RMI and Deltares signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
Mutual exchange of knowledge
The objective of this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to further develop the ongoing relationship between RMI and Deltares on relevant topics such as climate adaptation and planning, disaster risk management, resilient transport, water quality management and blue economy. The cooperation is based upon a mutual exchange of knowledge, expertise and tools and draws upon the existing multi-year cooperation between the two institutions.
RMI consists of 29 low-lying coral atolls comprising of 1,156 individual islands in the northern Pacific Ocean. With a land elevation averaging only 2 meters above mean sea level, the country is one of the world’s smallest, most isolated and most vulnerable nations. The renewed cooperation puts RMI at the forefront in the battle against climate change.
Chief Secretary Kino Kabua: “On behalf of the government, I would like to thank Deltares for the support they have been providing with their technical expertise and scientific knowledge. It is with no doubt that this partnership will contribute to the overall development of a resilient Marshall Islands and I look forward to giving full support, in my capacity as the Chief Secretary of the RMI government, to make our collaboration fruitful.”
Both the Marshall islands and The Netherlands are exposed to natural hazards and the effects of climate change. The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and Deltares have been working together since 2016 to assess the impact of sea level rise and develop innovative adaptation measures for RMI, among other topics. This cooperation has been supported by the World Bank and the Green Climate Fund.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in particular, are a priority area in the Deltares research agenda. Alessio Giardino, Deltares specialist climate adaptation and project manager: 'Recent flooding events, now also in Europe, have shown us how brutal and devastating the force of nature can be. Within Deltares we believe that developing knowledge and applying it can be a major factor in developing resilient systems and awareness about the hazards. Sharing our knowledge and working with governments, agencies and international organisations like the World Bank is key in being able to move forward.'
He continues: 'Through this MoU, we will be able to strengthen this cooperation and that, together, we will take important steps to address some of the biggest challenges which are ahead of us. Hopefully, this collaboration and its outcomes can serve as an example for other low-lying countries in the future, so we can learn from each other and get through these challenges together'.