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Sharing insights on nature-based solutions leads to better water management

As a low-lying delta country, the history and prosperity of the Netherlands is closely connected to water-related challenges. A third of the country lies below sea-level and two thirds of the country’s economic activity is susceptible to flooding. Climate change has presented new threats as sea-levels rise and storm surges become more frequent. In recent decades the realisation grew that a new approach is needed. For centuries, the Netherlands has been famous for its dykes and reclaimed land for housing and agriculture, now the country is giving its polders back to the water.

CES2021 highlights tech solutions for solving global challenges

The first-ever all-digital CES kicked off on 11 January 2021. More than 90 Dutch tech companies joined the world’s brightest and most forward-thinking innovators on the global innovation stage. Together they explored how to harness the power of technology and collaboration to solve societal challenges worldwide.

Port of Rotterdam sets standards for sustainable growth

Climate change is driving the need for many port cities to adapt. Most urban areas throughout the world are built on river mouths entering the sea. Rising sea levels, storm surges and other extreme weather events mean cities have to create strategies to become resilient to the impact of too much water. A third of the Netherlands is below sea level and two thirds of its GDP is generated there. Nevertheless, Rotterdam, as the busiest and smartest port in Europe, has managed to become a thriving logistics hub alongside a dynamic city.

Human Security Survey (HSS) data helps prevent conflict in Iraq and South Sudan

The first victim of war is truth is an old adage. The same can also be said of peace. Gathering independent and unbiased information on the situation on the ground following war and unrest is a difficult process. Often the testimonies of victims go unheard, while the official reading of a post-war situation is left to the authorities, or analysts sitting behind desks. Dutch NGO PAX for Peace has developed a digital solution to this dilemma, the Human Security Survey (HSS). Under the HSS, PAX and its local partners collect large scale data on civilians’ perspectives on their own safety and security, and facilitate constructive dialogue about civilians’ experiences, perceptions, and expectations in situations of conflict.

WPFC Youth Newsroom gives aspiring journalists a stronger voice

Last week, the World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC) Digital Edition took place in The Hague. The Youth Newsroom has been a part of the conference since 2012. As WPFC 2020 co-host, the Netherlands provided Youth Newsroom participants with preparatory coaching for the first time. The coaching sessions took place under the auspices of the Influentials’ Programme organised by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the lead up to the conference, fifteen participants from all over the world followed training sessions on writing powerful articles, storytelling, and producing exciting content in multiple formats. The participants were selected via UNESCO, Dutch universities and colleges and Dutch embassies. They each produced their own video on What Press Freedom means to them.

Human Rights Tulip 2020

Human rights are the cornerstone of human dignity, freedom and development, and form the basis for open and free societies all over the world. The Netherlands supports human rights defenders and organisations, and awards one of them each year with the Human Rights Tulip award. This year the award went to Armenian LGBTI activist Lilit Martirosyan.

Optimising plant growth through data and technology in Mexico

How can we feed a growing world population while reducing the impact on the environment? The Dutch consortium and PIB project HortiConnect believes nature itself provides the solutions and worked on a pilot project with Mexican grower United Farms using the Growing by Plant Empowerment principles (GPE). GPE combines the power of data and advanced technology to optimise a plant’s natural growing power and resilience. The result? Much higher yields using significantly less resources.