The latest news and developments on the implications of climate change for waterborne transport infrastructure. News is added by partners of the the Navigating a Changing Climate Partnership. You can also let us know about the latest developments by emailing us, or by using #navclimate on twitter.
Climate Change and Sediment Management Pledge.
Climate change is an existential threat. In the lead up to COP26, commitment to tackling the climate and ecological emergencies has never been greater. There is a need for urgent action, across all sectors, to decarbonise – while at the same time strengthening resilience and adapting to the changing climate.
Sediment managers – scientists and researchers, water managers, port and waterway operators, flood protection managers and similar, as well as those in the dredging and construction sector – all have an important role to play.
Sediments are an integral part of aquatic systems, the building block for natural habitats and an inherent component of many ecosystem services. Sediments and their associated aquatic habitats – blue carbon stocks – also play a vital role in sequestering and storing carbon.
An outcome of the virtual workshop ‘Sediment management opportunities to address the climate change challenge’ hosted by Navigating a Changing Climate and SedNet (https://sednet.org/) is an ambitious but realistic – and very necessary – Sediment Management and Climate Change Pledge (see attachment or via https://sednet.org/news/).
SedNet and the NavClimate partners ask organisations that recognise the importance of these issues and the need to work with these critical, inter-related natural processes, to endorse the pledge, and to work with us to identify and deliver solutions that benefit not only climate and nature, but also society and economy.
Many organisations are already (in the process of) endorsing this pledge. If your organisation is committed too and wish to have their logo added to the Pledge, please contact the SedNet Secretariat, confirming your endorsement of the Pledge and providing:
- your organisation’s name and logo
- the name and position of the person making this pledge
- your contact details if different from the above
The Pledge will be launched on 8 November 2021 during COP26.
A recording of the recent PIANC-NavClimate panel discussion event 'Assessing Resilience: Case Studies and a Path Forward for the Resilience of Maritime and Inland Waterborne Transport Systems' is now available on PIANC International’s YouTube channel. See: https://youtu.be/GxttSTXhy2E
Final announcement and registration details
Working with Nature for Climate-Resilient Ports and Waterways - Virtual Workshop Sponsored by PIANC and Navigating a Changing Climate
September 14 & 15
PIANC’s Environment Commission (EnviCom) and Navigating a Changing Climate Partnership are collaborating to deliver the virtual workshop, Working with Nature for Climate-Resilient Ports and Waterways Workshop. The workshop will comprise two sessions building on the February 2021 sediment management and climate change workshop held by Navigating a Changing Climate and SedNet. The workshop is designed to facilitate knowledge exchange, disseminate good practice, highlight opportunities, and identify gaps in understanding or research needs. It also will provide opportunities for dialogue and networking, in turn strengthening this professional community of practice.
Session 1. Scaling Up and Changing Entrenched Current Practice
Tuesday, September 14 - 14.00 UTC
Transitioning nature-based coastal and inland resiliency projects from concept and pilot-scale to full-scale, and persuading others to explore nature-based solutions to help strengthen resilience to the changing climate.
Session 2. Making the Business Case and Securing Finance
Wednesday, September 15 - 07.00 UTC
Preparing the case for investment and how to facilitate public and private sector funding for nature-based climate change adaptation and resiliency projects.
For more details including links to register, click on the attachment
Assessing Resilience: Case Studies and a Path Forward for the Marine and Inland Waterborne Transportation System
As new challenges unfold, it is becoming even more important that those who manage, own, and operate our global marine and inland waterborne transportation systems incorporate resilience into their practices.
Please join us on 26 August 2021 as we convene a special panel to highlight some recent progress in better understanding how to accomplish this goal.
The panel discussion will take place from 0900-1030 hours EST (1500-1630 hours CET).
For further information, please click on the attachment below
For those with interests in Europe, the Naiades III Action Plan on Inland Navigation was adopted today.
According to the Communication published at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM%3A2021%3A324%3AFIN&qid=1624553618712, the fundamental transformation of European transport systems towards zero-emission mobility requires an integrated multimodal approach explicitly aimed at boosting the uptake of more sustainable and less congested transport modes.
Long recognised as one of the most CO2-efficient modes of transport (per tonnes of goods carried) along with rail, inland waterway transport (IWT) is clearly seen as central to the European Union’s efforts to decarbonise the transport system.
The European Green Deal called for decisive action to shift a substantial part of the freight transported by road (currently accounting for 75% of inland freight) to inland navigation and rail, namely through measures to increase the capacity of inland waterways from 2021. Similarly, the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy adopted on 9 December 2020, which lays the foundation for how the EU transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation and become more resilient to future crises, underlined the need to increase the use of more sustainable transport modes, and indicated that inland waterway transport and short-sea shipping should increase by 25% by 2030 and by 50% by 2050. Zero-emission mobility is also the major objective of the Zero Pollution Action Plan adopted on 12 May 2021.
Read the Action Plan at the above link
Climate change impacts on seaports: A growing threat
Seaports are critical for global trade and sustainable development. They provide access to global markets and supply-chains for all countries, and are integral to maritime transport, as well as fisheries, offshore energy development, and many economic activities in coastal zones. At the same time, ports are particularly exposed to various natural hazards, due to their locations along open coasts or in low-lying estuaries and deltas. Although many climatic hazards can affect seaports (e.g. heat waves, extreme winds and precipitation), mean sea-level rise (SLR) and associated extreme sea-levels (ESLs) pose a particularly important threat, which is growing. A new article by UNCTAD provides an overview of the increasing hazards and impacts of sea level rise on ports under climate change and illustrates the urgent case for action.
Two weeks left to submit your proposal for a presentation!
Working with Nature for Climate-Resilient Ports and Waterways
Online Workshop Sponsored by: PIANC and Navigating a Changing Climate
Likely dates: 14 and/or 15 September 2021
Announcement and request for presentations
PIANC’s Environment Commission (EnviCom) and the Navigating a Changing Climate partners are collaborating to run a workshop entitled Working with Nature for Climate-Resilient Ports and Waterways. This workshop, which will comprise two consecutive half-day sessions, builds on a 2021 workshop run by Navigating a Changing Climate with SedNet (https://sednet.org/) focused on sediment management and climate change.
The workshop Working with Nature for Climate-Resilient Ports and Waterways is designed to facilitate knowledge exchange, disseminate good practice, highlight opportunities, and identify gaps in understanding or research needs in relation to the following themes:
- Scaling Up: How to transition from concept and pilot-scale nature-based solutions to full-scale coastal and inland resiliency projects
- Changing Entrenched Current Practice: How to persuade those who prefer to carry on with business as usual to explore nature-based alternatives to help strengthen resilience to the changing climate
- Making a Business Case: Preparing the case for investment in nature-based solutions including for climate-resilient win-win opportunities
- Finance: How to facilitate public and private sector funding for nature-based climate change adaptation and resiliency projects.
Case studies illustrating both successes and failures are especially welcome.
Those interested in presenting at this workshop are encouraged to prepare a one-page abstract explaining what their presentation would cover and indicating which of the above themes is most relevant. Presentations will be limited to ten minutes. All presenters will then be invited to join a subsequent panel discussion.
The abstract should state the main presenter’s name, affiliation, and email address; and identify co-authors and presenters. Please submit abstracts to and copy to Victor Magar () and Kate Panayotou (). The email title line should be marked with “PIANC‑NavClimate Working with Nature Workshop.” The deadline for abstract submission is 30 June 2021
Until more ports take action [to adapt to rising sea levels and other impacts], shippers will have to navigate a port ecosystem where some facilities are preparing for climate change and others are not: that is the conclusion of a recent article in Supply Chain Dive
The article cites Austin Becker, a professor in The University of Rhode Island's Department of Marine Affairs, referring to the draft findings of a recent survey. Becker notes that while ports such as Los Angeles and New York have begun resiliency planning, they could be in a minority of U.S. ports: "It turns out, there aren't actually that many that have," he said. "There are about 300 or so ports in the U.S. and ... we were able to find about 10 that have gone through a resilience planning process."
In addition to a focus on what is being done or needs to be done to prepare for rising sea levels around the USA, the article also highlights the importance of understanding port-specific inter-dependencies; and stresses how working with partners needs to be a priority. In the absence of adequate preparedness, it finds that the inherent interconnectedness of port systems risks compounding the problem, leaving 'assets such as warehouses, trucking networks and railroads vulnerable to disruptions from climate change and rising sea levels'.
Following the hugely successful joint NavClimate-SedNet workshop 'Sediment management opportunities to address the climate change challenge' (held as an online event in February 2021), the workshop summary document has now been published on the SedNet website (see https://sednet.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Summary-and-outcomes-NavClimate-SedNet.pdf)
This overview report recalls the objective of the workshop, highlights the presentations made in each of the following four sessions, and records the outcomes of the panel discussion/the conclusions reached by participants in the context of key opportunities, challenges and research needs. The four themes were:
- Role of sediment management in carbon sequestration and storage: opportunities to contribute to a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
- Sediments and climate change adaptation: seeking flexible and adaptive solutions to strengthen resilience and adapt port and navigation
infrastructure and operations
- Habitat enhancement and creation, Working-with-Nature and other nature-based solutions
- Sediment management, circular economy and the waste hierarchy: reduce, reuse, recycle
It was clear from the workshop that, whilst there are some barriers to be overcome (including changing perceptions, scaling up and accessing finance), there are also tremendous opportunities
By addressing the challenges and seizing opportunities, everybody involved in sediment management - from port and waterway operators to dredging contractors to researchers - can help make a real difference to reducing emissions, strengthening resilience and facilitating sustainable adaptation to the changing climate.
The May 2021 newsletter of NavClimate, the Navigating a Changing Climate initiative, provides an update on our initiative and highlights various recent activities of the NavClimate partner and supporter organisations. And what a difference a year makes, with so many proposed activities postponed or cancelled, and a whole new way of working as online events become the norm...
The attached newsletter discusses these upcoming events along with news items from SedNet, ESPO, IHMA, Resilience4Ports, UNCTAD, Port of London Authority, EBI and ECFAS.