Conference 2009


People and the Sea V:

'Living with uncertainty and adapting to change'

Amsterdam, 9 - 11 July, 2009


Speech HRH Prince of Orange

Photos Opening Ceremony

Brochure on the Mundus maris exhibition 'Sustainable Seas through the eyes of art'.


People and the Sea (V): living with uncertainty and adapting to change

The central theme for this year’s conference brings together a range of related debates on coastal change and adaptation. We hope the conference will be driven by discussion and debate on how people in coastal areas across the world are living with uncertainties that surround their futures, and how they are able, or not, to adapt to a myriad of changes. Declining fish stocks, habitat change, sea level rise, expanding urbanization, and a fast pace of coastal zone development in many countries create new challenges, threats and sometimes opportunities for coastal inhabitants. Social and natural scientists strive to understand the implications of coastal change for human society, and to integrate new knowledge into the policy arena. In particular, concern grows as to the impacts of the fisheries crisis on the world’s poorest people, especially those most dependent upon marine and coastal resources - a central theme throughout the conference. A clear challenge for coastal governance is the reconciliation of competing claims over coastal resources, especially the balance of securing ecosystem health alongside sustaining flourishing coastal societies. How can different aspirations be met and is there a common ground which can drive progress in achieving workable polices?


The five themes investigated in this conference address the challengesof uncertaintyover coastalchange across different, but strongly connected sectors. These themes include transformations in fisheries and aquaculture, socio-technical changes in coastal and deltaic landscapes, the emergence of new governance arrangements under conditions of uncertainty, cultural responses to changing coastal environments, and the growing vulnerability of those who are most dependent upon marine and coastal resources.


1. Transformations in fisheries and aquaculture

2. Transformations in coastal and deltaic landscapes

3. Governing under conditions of uncertainty

4. Culture and imaginations of coasts under change

5. Whose needs count in adapting to change?



Conference Committee and Stream Leaders

Conference Committee :

Stream Leaders:

Conference Coordinator:

  • van Dijk, Didi


Special Policy Sessions

Policy day, 8th July 2009:

Dealing with sea-level rise in deltaic regions: an international comparison







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