A large part of the 3,000 km long coast of Colombia is subject to erosion. Besides erosion due to natural causes, erosion often a result of human activities: e.g. removing mangrove forests, sand mining, dredging port access channels, construction of jetties. Erosion leads to social problems, loss of environmental values and economic damage. Colombia does not have a national program to mitigate erosion. Mitigating measures are thus taken in an uncoordinated manner, paying insufficient attention to their adverse impacts, and are often unsuccessful.
The Dutch Government represented by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Colombian Ministry of Environment assigned the Consortium consisting of Dutch and Colombian experts to analyse the present and future condition of the coast, the governance context, and to propose a roadmap to improve coastal erosion management. Royal HaskoningDHV was responsible for the analysis of the natural system, prioritization of critical erosion locations and for the preparation of adequate erosion mitigation measures. Advanced technologies to analyse satellite images were used to analyse erosion trends and forecast future erosion problems. The urgency of erosion problems was compared and ranked. The proposed mitigation measures were based on the Building with Nature principles.
The Consortium developed a Master Plan providing the government of Colombia with clear steps on how to mitigate or avoid coastal erosion problems and reduce associated flood risk. A capacity development program was rolled out, with dedicated training sessions for representatives of coastal authorities on Integrated Coastal Zone Management, and the use of modern technologies.