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Building with Nature (BwN)


The most serious threat facing the North Sea Region is climate change, increasing flood and coastal erosion risk from storm surges in coastal and estuarine areas and heavy rain causing flooding of rivers and lakes inland. Building with Nature is an emerging complementary concept where natural processes help to keep us safe against coastal erosion and flooding. To date, the concept of Building with Nature has been piloted on a small scale in a few countries, but opportunities are everywhere and yet unseized. The aim of the project is to develop knowledge about Building with Nature through pilot projects to stimulate the application of this concept by European Governments. The overall objective is to make coasts, estuaries and catchments of the North Sea Region more adaptable and resilient to the effects of climate change.

The project will demonstrate climate change adaptation solutions based on the concept of “building with nature” at 7 coastal target sites (sand nourishment at North Sea Coasts and Wadden Sea barrier islands) and at 6 catchment scale sites (e.g. river restoration) across 6 countries (the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Scotland). These sites will function as living laboratories generating the evidence-base that is currently lacking to incorporate building with nature solutions into national policy and investment programs.

BwN creates joint transnational monitoring programmes, uses state-of-the-art analysis methods, and develops improved designs and business cases.

Project information


Rijkswaterstaat, Ministry of Infrastructures and Water management, Netherlands


Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services – Coastal Division, Belgium

Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Germany

ECOSHAPE, Building with Nature, Netherlands

Danish Coastal Authority, Denmark

Schleswig-Holstein Agency for Coastal Defence, National Park and Marine Conservation, Germany

The county Administration Board of Skåne, Sweden

Lower Saxony Water Management, Coastal Defence and Nature Conservation Agency, Germany

Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, Norway

IHE Delft Foundation, Netherlands

Flanders Environment Agency, Belgium

Regional Water Authority Noorderzijlvest, Netherlands

Scottish Government, Scotland

Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Scotland

Tweed Forum, UK

Source of funding

2014 - 2020 INTERREG VB North Sea

Published in Climate-ADAPT Feb 26 2019   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Sep 10 2022

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