Tidal flats in the Natura 2000 tidal basin Oosterschelde are slowly but surely disappearing under water. The National Park Oosterschelde (NPO) is working for stopping this process. Recent nourishment of some tidal flats have led to some good experiences with raising them. The NPO wanted to decide on what steps to take next, and asked Houtekamer & Van Kleef to organize a conference, "Koester the Oosterschelde" ("Cherish the Oosterschelde") on September 9, 2013.
The conference on September 9 was the third conference in a row: both in 2008 ("Oosterschelde, beating heart of a sustainable delta") and 2010 ("Cherish the Oosterschelde") Houtekamer & Van Kleef already organised conferences for the NPO. In 2008 the conference was primarily aimed at getting attention for the problem of degrading tidal flats itself, in 2010 and 2013 they were aimed at taking action.
For all three conferences we designed the programme, composed the press strategy, proposed, contacted and instructed speakers and reported the results. We also took care of lots of practical tasks, like making invitations, badges, light and sound, catering etcetera. We carried out our work in close cooperation with servants of NPO, the Province of Zeeland, Rijskwaterstaat, representatives of the fishing industry and Natuurmonumenten.
The first conference, in 2008, resulted in a formal declaration of the involved parties (the "Declaration of Yerseke") agreeing on research of the phenomenon of "sand hunger", the reason why the tidal flats are degrading. The second conference generated 25 ways to cherish the Oosterschelde. During the third conference, the King's Commissioner in Zeeland, Han Polman, was the first to put his "sand signature" to underline the importance of saving the tidal flats. Siebe Kramer, chairman of the NPO, in the presence of 120 politicians, entrepeneurs, policy makers, representatives of NGO's and students, signed the Declaration of BRU. This is a true reward for us: our work results in a lasting commitment with a focus on a sustainable future.
More information about the Oosterschelde: http://www.np-oosterschelde.nl.