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WEDA Shares Environmental Statement by the World Organization of Dredging Associations at WODCON

A the 21st World Dredging Congress and Exposition, WODCON XXI, from June 13 to 17, Western Dredging Association (WEDA) President Ram Mohan read the World Organization of Dredging Associations (WODA) statement on climate change. Craig Vogt, WEDA Environ-mental Commission Chair said the statement is a recognition of the role that the dredging industry has in addressing climate change and sea level rise. 

The WODA statement reads as follows:

“Noting the significant of the December 2015 UN Paris Climate Change Agreement, the World Organization of Dredging Associations (WODA) agrees that concerted and timely efforts for climate change mitigation and adaptation are crucial to reducing risks to people, and to safeguarding human social and economic well-being and the ecology of the planet in the near and long term.

“The members of WODA are committed to:

• Increasing energy efficiency and managing carbon in relation to dredging projects, including reductic and carbon emissions and creating carbon sinks through habitat development;

• Contributing to enhanced resilience and reducing risks to the world’s shorelines, coast-lines, inland, estuarine and marine water re-sources, waterways, infrastructure; and

• Advancing innovation, dredging knowledge, and best practices and sharing these to sup-port the above actions.

“The members of WODA recognize that:

• Dredging and sediment management are essential to maintaining and improving our quality of life, economic well being and ecosystem health;

• An integrated holistic approach to carbon management in relation to dredging projects is needed: optimization of dredging processes, innovations in the design of dredging vessels, the use of alternative fuels, as well as the use of sediment to support carbon sequestration offer opportunities that should be further developed.

• Adaptation measures for climate change need to e based on a well-informed approach that makes appropriate use of surveying, monitoring and adaptive management.

• Natural systems and nature-based infrastructure (e.g., beaches, dunes, barrier islands, wet-lands and reefs) serve a critical role in supporting resilient coastal systems. Dredging and sediment management that support natural systems and nature-based infrastructure is a key component of adaptation strategies, policies, plans and actions.

• Flexible, evidence-based, and science-informed regulatory frameworks are essential for the timely and efficient implementation of innovative solutions.

“Acknowledging the challenges facing nations around the globe to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, WODA members will collaborate with a wide range of other professional groups, kindred associations and stake-holder groups to identify, share and implement effective solutions that benefit communities, the economy, and the environment.” Craig Vogt, WEDA Environmental Commission chair, said the statement was in part a response to the call and commitment to action from Paris Climate Change Agreement. 

“We in WODA know that the dredging industry is well-situated to help in adapting to rising sea levels, protecting our shorelines, nourishing beaches, building dunes, and enhancing the health of our coastal and inland ecosystems. The WEDA Environmental Com-mission will initiate activities this year to document the contributions of the dredging industry to the challenges and to the framework for action provided in the WODA Statement on Climate Change,” Vogt said. 

The statement was initially drafted in early in 2016, and then underwent several reviews by all the associations of WODA. The statement was finalized and approved by all the organizations in early June 2016.  

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