Hard structures like dams, sea walls, and canals have boosted coastal development but also led to the loss of valuable coastal wetlands and their services. Using the Building with Nature approach, we aim to catalyse a fundamental shift in coastal and delta planning.
Worldwide, natural disasters such as flooding, tsunamis and storm surges are increasingly affecting the lives of coastal communities. Human-induced climate change has been identified as the leading cause of increase in natural disasters occurrences and this phenomenon is further exacerbated by development, leaving many coastal communities increasingly vulnerable to the risk of natural hazards.
Seawalls, for example, may trigger large scale erosion both on-site and further down the coast due to interference with currents and sediment flows. Such infrastructures are often too expensive to serve rural coastlines, incapable of adapting to climate change, and fail to provide the vital economic, environmental and social services that healthy wetlands provide.