pilot project Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production Bangladesh September 2011

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1 pilot project Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production Bangladesh September 2011 Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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3 1. General information project partners IMARES specializes in strategic and applied marine ecological research with a focus on Marine Living Resource Management (the sustainable conservation, harvesting and multiple use of the sea and coastal areas). The institute, founded in 2006, is composed of the former Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research (RIVO) and divisions of Alterra and TNO. Approximately 200 experts work at IMARES on projects for public and private sector clients, nationally and internationally. The institute has modern research facilities and is ISO-9001 certified. The core competencies are (salt) water ecology, water quality and the related environmental risks of contaminants, biological production systems and optimization of the sustainable multifunctional use within the marine environment, coastal and catchments areas. To this end, the focal areas include field research, experiments on a realistic scale, laboratory-scale exploratory studies, data management and modelling. The location of IMARES situated in Yerseke focuses on ecological research in Delta s and on aquaculture (farming of fish and shell fish). The mission of LEI is to promote the quality of food, the living environment and living conditions within international society. We share this mission with the Social Sciences Department of Wageningen University and the Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation, with which LEI forms the Social Sciences Group. LEI works for government and industry developing economic knowledge in the fields of food, agriculture and green space. By undertaking committed, independent and reliable research, we provide support for clients faced with making socially and strategically sound policy choices. Our research is conducted in close contact with clients and other parties involved. Our expertise is based on comprehensive knowledge of the sector and the applied use of concepts and techniques from economic and social sciences. Our work field covers the agricultural sector, fisheries, nature management and the use of green space. All links in the chain from consumer to producer are involved. An increasing proportion of our research focuses on international issues. Besides strategic research for long-term policy, we conduct research targeting more operational issues concerning the management of sectors and businesses and the management of rural areas. We also conduct statutory research tasks for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. This includes providing annual reports about income development, environmental performance and structural changes. IMARES and LEI are both part of the Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek (DLO). Being the eldest and the only royal Dutch consultancy Royal Haskoning consists of consultants, architects and engineers. It has 3,900 professionals and operates worldwide. We have a longtime record of activities in Bangladesh in infrastructure, water management and coastal engineering. Our independent professional status is supported by our ownership structure. The company is owned by an independent foundation. Our passion sets us apart and is expressed in our proactive approach. We are aware of our corporate social responsibility. Our core values and code of conduct are the basis of everything we do and they ensure mutual trust, effective cooperation and the success of our enterprise. We devise solutions for problems relating to the sustainable interaction between people and their environment. We focus on important themes like innovation, sustainability, Cradle to Cradle, climate change, deltas of the world, safety and risk, and diversity. This commitment to society is a source of inspiration. Our sustainable solutions that are frequently inspired by Cradle to Cradle place us at the heart of the community. We see our future as continuously increasing the added value of our services for our clients. We share ownership of the issues that are important to our clients. We want to contribute to a better living environment in a world in which we live, work, play and spend our leisure time. We want to be among the leaders in our market and achieve continuity through good profitability. Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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5 As an Employer of Choice we offer our employees more than just a work environment. We will achieve our objective through a long-term strategy based on four spearheads: Clients First, Financial Control, Value Improvement in Business Processes and Learn & Grow. Each year we identify new challenges and decide where and how short-term strategic fine tuning is necessary. We are a network of expertise, offices, partners and business contacts. This enables us to provide personal, effective and local consultancy services utilising the full range of experience, knowledge and skills we have acquired worldwide. We are one company offering our stakeholders a comprehensive package of services. Our clients are ambitious. Ambition always carries with it an element of risk. As a trusted partner we can reduce and control these risks using the broad spectrum of expertise and experience we have at our disposal, built up in different markets and with different disciplines. This cross fertilisation between disciplines creates value and produces innovation in the work we do and is the basis for the confidence clients have in us. This all means added value for our clients. Our one-company concept allows us to do this while minimising coordination costs and ensures that learning curves are shared within our organisation and with our clients. Bangladesh counterpart is the Department of Fisheries (DoF) (see letter of intend in annex 2). The DoF, under the administrative control of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, is the administrative body responsible for the dissemination of knowledge on aquaculture and fisheries, fisheries management and fish stock assessments, quality control of fisheries products, development projects etc. From DoF a letter of intent to cooperate with us in realizing this project is added in Annex 2 of this document. Beside DoF the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BDWB) is asked to be a projectpartner and act as a counterpart as well. However the short time lapse between the End of Ramadan and this application was too limited to formalize their letter of intend. The participation of this Bengal authorities is of eminent importance in both getting the pilot area selected, the pilot project done, the ownership of the project safeguarded and the (positive) results of the project both monitored, disseminated, reported and applied in other projects in similar areas elsewhere in Bangladesh. Royal Haskoning and LEI are both members of the Delta Alliance. This is an international network organisation with the overall mission to improve the resilience of deltas. The Delta Alliance has currently active Wings in 10 deltas including Bangladesh. The consortium will use the network of the Delta alliance and the knowledge of some of its partners in the definition stage as well as in the phase of the dissemination of the results of the pilot project. Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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7 2. The project The objective of the project is to provide the Bengal authorities an alternative technique for climate change adaptation, by using the natural resistence of shell fish in order to improve safety for humans against erosion and flooding and at the same time deliver a source of aquatic food. Thus this project in our opinion fits in closely to the Dutch declaration (February 2011) CIWK (Information Chain for Water, Food and Climate Services) that is closely related to the Water Mondiaal Program. In this initiative over 40 Dutch organizations offer information chains (see figure 2-1), tools and services to effectively address climate change challenges. Figure 2-1: Eco-engineering coastal defence in Bangladesh could use the Building with Nature experience (Eastern Scheldt, see page 6). Thus it fits closely into the Dutch CIWK approach where over 40 Dutch organizations offer information and services to address global climate change. The Delta alliance and in particular the setting up of the Delta plan for Bangaladesh give excellent opportunities to further upscale the results of our pilot project (source figure: Mission Report Bangladesh, Dhaka 29th July 4th August, 5th August, Hans van Leeuwen et al.). Meanwhile Bangladesh has been chosen as a pilot by the CIWK steering committee and was in fact visited during a recent mission in Dhaka (29th July 4th August 2011). This offers a perfect setting for the upscaling of our work on the pilot area. In our view the Building and Farming with Nature concept that we present in this offer can easily be embedded in the Multi-annual strategic plan (MASP) for the Dutch Bangladesh future bilateral cooperation as it is being developed in the context of the CIWK. If the pilot proves to be successful it could in our opinion become a part of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 developed with public and private stakeholders in Bangladesh that is being elaborated at the moment with the active help of some of some other partners of the Delta alliance, of which both Royal Haskoning and LEI are part of. Thus we are very close on both the organisations and the process involved to ensure upscaling of our project to a national Bangladesh scale and eventually from there also internationally. Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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9 The project will investigate the technical and economic feasibility for these alternative forms of coastal defence in a selected area along the coast of Bangladesh and will demonstrate its potential in the form of a pilot. Since the climatic conditions in Bangladesh are more extreme than in the Netherlands, the pilot project will also deliver valuable information on new techniques that can not only be applied in other Delta s in the developing world such as in Vietnam and Mozambique but might also provide valuable knowledge to further enhance the building with nature concept in Western European situations and more specifically in the Eastern Scheldt. The identification of suitable locations is part of activity 1 (exploration; see paragraph 3). The Department of Fisheries,(DoF) of Bangladesh has already indicated that suitable areas exist in the southeast part of the Bangladesh coastal area and adjacent islands. Current situation According to the OECD (2003) climate change poses significant risks for Bangladesh, yet the core elements of its vulnerability are primarily contextual. Between 30-70% of the country is normally flooded each year. The huge sediment loads brought by three Himalayan rivers, coupled with a negligible flow gradient add to drainage congestion problems and exacerbate the extent of flooding. The societal exposure to such risks is further enhanced by Bangladesh s very high population and population density. Many projected climate change impacts including sea level rise, higher temperatures (mean temperature increases of 1.4 C and 2.4 C are projected by 2050 and 2100 respectively), evapotranspiration losses, enhanced monsoon precipitation and run-off, potentially reduced dry season precipitation, and increase in cyclone intensity would in fact reinforce many of these baseline stresses that already pose a serious impediment to the economic development of Bangladesh. A subjective ranking of key climate change impacts and vulnerabilities for Bangladesh identifies water and coastal resources as being of the highest priority in terms of certainty, urgency, and severity of impact, as well as the importance of the resources being affected. Various kinds of adaptations in water management are possible to adjust to the changes resulting from climate change. Often technical solutions are put forward, like constructing new or strengthening existing levees to reduce the flood probability. An alternative form of climate change adaptation that provides safety for humans and aquatic food are such as shell fish banks both natural or using artificial structures like poles or floating devices with threads. Mussels and oysters are due to live solitary but grow naturally to form three-dimensional reefs and banks. These organisms are called ecosystem engineers (or bio builders ) that form conspicuous habitats that influence tidal flow, wave action and sediment dynamics within estuaries and, in doing so, modify patterns of sediment deposition, consolidation, and stabilization. Therefore, the concept of ecosystem-engineering offers promising possibilities for shoreline protection and coastal defence. The form, size and shape of these reefs can be influenced by men in such a way that the structures can play a role in costal defence, for example to prevent erosion or act as wave dampers. In the Netherlands this concept ( Building with Nature ) is currently applied to combat the erosion of tidal flats in the South western delta (Eastern Scheldt, see figure 2.2). Also at various sites in the USA oyster reefs are being applied against coastal erosion (personal Communication by Loren Coen). Besides security for humans, these natural structures can be a source of high quality nutritious sea food. Additionally these bivalve reefs also support critical fisheries by providing habitat for numerous species of fish, crustaceans and shellfish.the combination of these two functions (i.e. coastal defence and food production) is innovative and provides unique opportunities to be applied around the globe in delta s were suitable conditions for shell fish exists, as is the case in Bangladesh. Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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11 Fig.2-2:. Examples of eco engineering with shell fish culture in the Netherlands that can play a role in coastal defence (Building with Nature project, Eastern Scheldt, 2010, source: IMARES). Situation in Bangladesh Like the Netherlands Bangladesh is a flat delta with fertile alluvial soils and readily accessible surface and groundwater with flood conditions suffering from sea level rise and increasing wave energy and subsequent coastal erosion (example in figure 2.3). About 6% of the area ( hectares) has an estuarine nature. The percentage of brackish water area is expanding (between 10-20% during the past 4 years) rapidly. Natural hazards as flooding increase because of climate change. The total production of aquaculture in Bangladesh amounted to approximately 1 million tonnes in 2008, predominately carps produced in fresh water bodies (FAO 2011). No formal statistics are available from shell fish fishery or culture. However, Shahabuddin et al (2010) report that the coastal habitat of Bangladesh is suitable for shell fish, and three commercially interesting species occur, namely green mussel (Perna viridis), clam (Meretrix meretrix) and oyster (Crassostrea madrasensis). The stocks are exploited in some of the coastal area but there is no significant aquaculture/ cultivation of these species. The bivalves concerned provide potentially popular highly nutritious food items as is the case in many other developed as well as developing countries. The exploitation of these species could have a direct benefit to the population, if they are made available in sufficient quantity and quality for diverge use and probable export. Figure 2.3: Shellfish reefs both natural and artificial can actually diminish erosion processes especially in areas with soft substratum in the intertidal areas such as in The Netherlands and Bangladesh (from: Mission report Bangladesh, by Hans van Leeuwen, Dick van den Bergh en Leanne Reichard, augustus 2011) Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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13 Development of the technology in the Netherlands: current situation. One of the most striking examples of human induced coastal erosion is found in the Eastern Scheldt where intertidal areas are rapidly disappearing due to the realization of a storm surge barrier and as a result reduced tidal movement. The scale of the erosion problems that is currently encountered in the Eastern Scheldt, makes this ecosystem a suitable model system to study ecological methods to deal with coastal erosion. Therefore, the Building with Nature programme in which some members of the Delta alliance like Royal Haskoning work closely together with especially IMARES Yerseke looks specifically into the use of ecosystem engineers such as oyster reefs or mussel beds for coastal protection in the Eastern Scheldt. More specifically, the project aims at revealing the mechanisms by which ecosystem engineers affect morphological development and ecological functioning in estuaries by using (natural and designed) biogenic bivalve reefs in the Eastern Scheldt as model engineers.the project started in 2009 with a study of naturally occurring reefs in order to define how hydrodynamics, age of the reef,patch structure and size, reef characteristics (height, thickness, etc.) interact with each other. In 2010 large-scale pilot experiments with artificial reefs.were conducted. Five reefs have been constructed (see figure 2.2 and the picture on page 6). The results have shown that the reefs are very stable and that erosion has been reduced (even sedimentation occurs). The results indicate that the technology works and that especially the scientific results now offer sufficient basis to test this approach elsewhere. In the Eastern Scheldt some close monitoring of the further development of the reefs will continue. These monitoring results if relevant can be directly applied in both the projects undertaken in the Eastern Scheldt as well as in the pilot project in Bangladesh. Later on experiences and monitoring results on both spots can provide valuable information for vice versa adaptations and applications elsewhere. The unique value of this project is that natural occurring or eco-engineered processes are used to enhance security for human living in coastal areas, while at the same time providing a potential source for producing aquatic food. This innovative approach can be used in addition to traditional coastal defence strategies, will be more eco-friendly, will probably be able to add to improvement of local socio-economic conditions and thereby enhance public acceptance because of the benefits of aquatic food production. It could thus be an alternative to more traditional approaches of flood control with in some cases inevitable destruction of spawning areas and/or obstruction of migration routes for fish by levee-, embankment and/or fore shore (break water) constructions. Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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15 3. Project activities GENERAL APPROACH In Figure 3.1 we describe the methodology we propose in a general picture. Central in our proposal is the identification of five consequent steps from general concept to pilot project execution. We involve our Bengal partner(s) and stakeholders from the early start onwards and make effective use of new techniques in comparing early conceptional options and finally translate them through activities in situ and back at home in the Netherlands (desk study; analyses). Moreover we will clearly envisage the longevity of the follow-up phase (including ownership and the phase after the pilot project is finished) from the start as well to ensure sustainable results on the spot and eventually elsewhere in Bangladesh and in other countries. Figure 3.1: General project approach depicted in 5 consequent steps and arriving from a concept (building with nature) applied and tested in the Netherlands via early conceptional options in Bangladesh to the definition and execution of an actual pilot project in Bangladesh and a follow-up in other parts of the country as well as abroad. Activity 1. Exploration. Since it is a new collaboration effort, initial contacts for this proposal should be further detailed and intensified, working agreements with the Bangladesh counterpart and partner organisation (DfO) need to be finalized, and the project activities need to be further detailed and planned. This might also lead to the active involvement of another Bengal partner e.g. the BWDB (Water Development Board). This first mission will also be used for site selection, present a first overview of different options for both shellfish species and growing conditions (without or with the use of artificial structures) to be considered (SWOT analysis) and (on the site) preliminary data collection. Output: actualised working plan; preliminary data collected; project area(s) identified. Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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17 Activity 2. Opportunity mapping of early conceptional options. A multidisciplinary team of the project consortium will travel to Bangladesh to undertake the following activities: a). make an inventory of existing policy, plans, programmes and collection of physical/hydrological/ chemical/ecological data from the project area; b). make an inventory of suitable aquatic organisms and suitable culture systems with potential use for coastal defence; c). make an inventory of sociological and economical aspects of shell fish culture systems and shell fish markets, including supply chains, value adding and future trends. The following research questions will be answered: What are the costs of the set-up of shell fish culture systems along the coast and what are the expected benefits? Who are potential consumers and what is the willingness to pay for the shell fish now and in the future? To what extent will the shell fish be an alternative for traditional coastal defence? To what extent will it reduce the vulnerability of the population living in the area? To what extent will it contribute to economic growth; d). make an inventory of the expected microbial quality of shell fish for human consumption and if necessary suggest application of monitoring techniques for quality checks and in addition of small scale locally applicable techniques for purification before comsumption. Above activities will be undertaken in the form of a field survey followed by a participatory workshop involving our Bengal counterpart(s) as well as local stakeholders. The existing artisanal techniques for fishing and the applicability of the methodology of harvesting in the new pilot will be a central focus point of the workshop. Moreover already in this phase participation in the pilot phase (including investment in the shell fish structures) and ownership from 2014 onwards will be discussed and envisaged with local community and public authorities and (if appropriate) private parties. The stakeholder meetings will be then used to define early conceptional options (eco s). Output: dataset completed; project area surveyed; stakeholder analysis and strategic communication plan completed; first identification of feasible alternative techniques/ early conceptional options (eco s); comparison of eco s using a set of different safety-, ecological-, sociological-, environmental- and economical criteria (example see figure 3.2 below). The eco s must include harvesting techniques and the possibility to effectively apply these techniques by the local population; feedback of stakeholders on eco s validation must be received and discussed; first draft on how procedures must be followed to safeguard ownership and longevity of the project after 2014, once the pilot has been finished, and for the operalisation of the pilot. Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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19 Figure 3.2: Two examples of the use of early conceptional options (eco s) and the application of opportunity mapping. Above a picture from TE2100 project (options to adapt to climate change in parts of London area) and below strategic choices to protect from flooding in KAN area (Arnhem-Nijmegen) used to evaluate strategic eco s on adapting to climate change and threats of flooding (both developed and managed by Marnix de Vriend of Royal Haskoning, Coastal & Rivers, in respectively 2006 and ). Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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21 Activity 3. Desk study. Technical feasibility For the early conceptional options (eco s) that seem to be the most promising, the potential contribution towards limiting coastal erosion and mitigating flood risk will be evaluated (if necessary by means of models). These effects will be compared to traditional coastal defence scenarios. Ecological feasibility The ecological feasibility study will evaluate the sustainable use of ecosystems along the coast, where the eco-engineered shell fish reefs will be situated. The study will assess the potential growth of the shell fish reefs, production capacity, and quality aspects of the shell fish. Economic feasibility For the eco s that seem to be the most promising, all costs and benefits of the eco-engineered shell fish coastal defence structures will be compared in a cost-benefit analysis. Costs include for instance the costs of hardware, software, monitoring costs and the costs of possible externalities like damage to ecosystems. Benefits will be quantified in terms of expected avoided coastal erosion damage as well as expected avoided flood damage and benefits from aquatic food production. This will provide insight into the economic feasibility of multifunctional solutions and its applicability in practice. Costs will also be compared to the costs of traditional coastal defence. These three feasibility studies will be presented in a report as a real business case for the valorisation of our innovative technology in other parts of Bangladesh as well as in other deltas. If the feasibility study indicates indeed that our innovative technology is a technically, ecologically and economic feasible option, it will be tested on pilot level in Bangladesh. Such a pilot is needed for empirical evidence to illustrate that such an option is not only feasible in theory, but also in practice. Output - A report about the technical, ecological and economic feasibility of our technology (business case) - A set-up for a demonstration of the technology at a pilot scale in Bangladesh (if the outcome of the feasibility study is positive); This will include local stakeholders as well as (private) parties that are committed to contribute to the establishment of shell fish reefs. The outcomes will be disseminated to the relevant stakeholders in the form of a report. Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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23 Figure 3.3: Our approach during the activities 1, 2 and 3 will be focussed on constantly improving and testing the eco s and potential techniques all to define a real pilot Bengal project that will prove to be succesfull Activity 4. Pilot project. - Artificial or more natural shell fish reef(s) will be constructed at the site(s) identified under activity 3. Measurements on hydrodynamics, sediment dynamics and biodiversity will be done. Also the growth and settlement of new shellfish on the reef will be investigated. Within the time span available for the completion of the project the shell fish reef however will not grow to its full size. Therefore, based on the collected data and the models developed for the Eastern Scheldt, an extrapolation will be made that will indicate the erosion protection properties and the food potential of a full-grown shellfish reef; - The field measurements and monitoring will be done by the Bangladesh counterparts under guidance of the WUR scientists. Activity 5. Dissemination and valorisation The outcome of the pilot will be presented and discussed with local (example invitation see figure 3.4) and international stakeholders by the project consortium.through its membership of the Delta alliance, the project consortium will actively disseminate the results. The main purpose is to interest and convince governmental authorities and private entities to adopt the technology and to invest in a further application in Bangladesh. Besides application in Bangladesh it is also important to interest, inform and disseminate the results to other delta areas where the technology can be applied for example in Vietnam (Mekong Delta area), the Beira region in Mozambique, and in Cameroon Duala (Wouri river) or Kribi (Lobé river) region). Therefore two concrete activities will be undertaken: - A dissemination workshop in Bangladesh (organised by the project consortium) where representatives of the other countries to be invited are being involved; - Further dissemination to other deltas (Mozambique, Cameroon, Vietnam), and possibly wider through the network of the Delta Alliance. Special attention will also be paid to the valorisation and up scaling of our innovative technology. For instance by inviting international organisations as well, such as the Asian Development Bank, to our dissemination workshop and private companies interested to take over pilots on a commercial basis.. Pilot project in Bangladesh - Eco-engineered coastal defence integrated with sustainable aquatic food production - September

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