Floods and Droughts: Australia and the Netherlands Cooperating on Climate Extremes
The devastating Queensland floods of 2011 sparked an unexpected alliance to take-on climate extremes between two countries that have enjoyed strong relationships for hundreds of years: Australia and the Netherlands.
It may seem that Australia and the Netherlands are worlds apart in many ways. Yet, in climate change and its consequences they find a common enemy. And it’s exactly those differences that make both countries great partners: Australia being more focused on disaster recovery and the Netherlands on disaster prevention.
As we have come to understand: neither approach is and will be sufficient. Both are needed - and more. Hence, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience to share and new ideas to be developed - resulting in a thriving knowledge exchange partnership that has been underway for several years.
Inspiring the Next Generation
A key part of the partnership is the Australia-Netherlands Water Challenge: a program that allows young talent to actively participate in the collaboration by developing their own original ideas, supported by professional mentors.
Since 2012, three editions of the Australia-Netherlands Water Challenge have been organised, supported by professionals from over 30 organisations from both countries - across private sector, government and academia.
As such, the water challenge has developed as a valuable platform that brings people together, stimulates the exchange of knowledge and inspires the next generation water leaders to get involved.