PAGW working sessions at the Gelderse Poort

Photo by Bart Peters

Based in the Netherlands, Programmic Approach to Great Waters (PAGW) is a multi-year investment program that aims to improve ecological water quality and strengthen nature in larger bodies of water, specifically the Dutch delta. These are the major rivers such as the Rhine and the Meuse, the IJsselmeer region, the Wadden Sea and the Ems-Dollard, as well as the southwestern delta. The PAGW currently consists of 30 projects that are being realized in tranches in an area-oriented approach with an eye for cohesion with urbanisation, transport, energy production and recreation.

One of the PAGW projects is the Gelderse Poort; this project is also a pilot within ResiRiver. In the project, water is given more space, providing connections between larger and smaller bodies of water and expanding, contiguous habitats. In the last six months, the Gelderse Poort project team held several working sessions in the Gelderse Poort.

At the Gelderse Poort, a project team is developing long term measures that can be implemented in the area. As such, the recently completed working sessions were held in collaboration with other major stakeholders in the project area. These include the Province of Gelderland, two water boards, the Green Metropool Region and Staatsbosbeheer (Dutch governmental organisation for management of forests and nature areas). In the sessions, all parties shared their individual goals and ambitions for the future development of the Gelderse Poort. Lastly, the sessions focused on a long-term collaboration with other organisations.

The working sessions showed there are opportunities for collaboration to bundle budgets for different assignments and come up with clever, integrated solutions. Collaboration with the other programs in the river system was an important precondition for achieving PAGW ambitions for the Gelderse Poort in 2050. For the long term, the possibilities for an area-oriented, integrated approach are being explored. In collaboration with other organisations in the area, it is explored whether various social challenges can be addressed and whether Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are possible to improve the ecological water quality and nature in the Dutch river area. In the next step, promising projects will be further developed with NbS.