Sand and mud were given their place in the COP26 spotlight when the Sediment Management Pledge was launched at the UNFCC Resilience Action event.
These natural commodities are seen as important elements in carbon capture and their role as fish and wildlife habitats was also stressed by several speakers at the event including by the Marrakech Partnership initiative Navigating a Changing Climate who launched the pledge with SedNet, a European consortium of sediment specialists.
Even before the official launch more than 20 organisations from around the world, including government departments, major ports, dredging companies, research institutes and NGOs had already signed up.
Broadly, the pledge is part of the ‘working with nature’ initiative and commits signatories to take maximum care and consider ecological implications when working with sediments in rivers, estuaries and harbours.
The pledge is addressed primarily to sedimemt managers, scientists, water managers, port and waterway operators, flood protection officers and those in the dredging and construction sectors.
Jan Brooke chair, Permanent Task Group on Climate Change, World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC) said: ’Some organisations have already made the switch from regarding sediment as a waste to recognising it as an important natural resource bringing a range of opportunities. But others have not. Why not,’ she challenged.
Urging a widespread commitment to the pledge, Marc Eisma, chairman of SedNet said sediments sere an important resource that needed sympathetic management. ‘If we are to manage sediment for environmental objectives, such as maintaining habitats or for the needs of society (such as dredging to maintain navigation), this should be undertaken with a full awareness of impacts on nature and society within the river basin.’
Read the Sediment Management Pledge
Picture by Jan Brooke