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The geography of challenges

Infographic | 15-04-2018

Four global landscapes encompass clusters of challenges. These landscapes and their interdependencies provides a framework for climate-resilient and sustainable development.

Cities, infrastructure and the functioning of sectors are still largely based on the ‘old climate’. Under the Business-as-usual scenario, the projected population increase, economic development and increase in climate change and weather extremes are likely to result in a strong increase in water-related health risks, damage and losses.

A transnational understanding of the challenges and pathways to solutions will be needed to bridge the various scales and build a safer and climate-resilient world, reducing the major risks for dryland areas, cities, transboundary river basins, coastal areas and deltas.

Challenges for drylands and water-stressed areas

  • Improving water and land management
  • Reducing crop yield gaps
  • Improving local livelihood prospects
  • Reducing the risk of local conflict

Challenges for transboundary river basins

  • Reducing the impact of dams
  • Managing water demand and supply
  • Preserving sediment flows
  • Preserving ecological quality
  • Retaining transboundary collaboration

Challenges for cities

  • Making cities and infrastructure climate-resilient
  • Improving sanitation
  • Reducing nutrient emission levels
  • Reducing the risk of river flooding
  • Reducing inequity between the formal and informal city

Challenges for coastal zones and deltas

  • Reducing the risk of river and coastal flooding
  • Coping with sea level rise, soil subsidence and salinisation
  • Preventing long-term migration and economic losses

Source data

Ligtvoet, W., H. Hilderink, A. Bouwman, P. van Puijenbroek, P. Lucas & M. Witmer (2014), Towards a world of cities in 2050. An outlook on water-related challenges. The Hague: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

Meyer, H. & S. Nijhuis (2014), Urbanized deltas in transition. Amsterdam: Techne Press

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Unless stated otherwise, the Creative Commons (BY) licence applies to this infographic. For more information on this licence or the use of this infographic, please contact our graphics department (beeldredactie@pbl.nl).