The Zwin (BE-NL)

Location: Knokke, Belgium & Sluis, the Netherlands

Case study lead: Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij - Flanders Environment Agency

Constituent systems: Coast, catchment and infrastructure networks
 
The Zwin is a nature reserve at the North Sea coast, on the Belgian-Dutch border. It consists of the entrance area of a former tidal inlet which during the Middle Ages connected the North Sea with the ports of Sluis and Bruges inland. As a result of climate change, sea level rise and silting are seriously threatening the tidal marches, impacting both ecology and the drainage capacity of the Zwin area. Therefore an integrated, cloud to coast approach taking into account an optimal balance between nature, agriculture & housing, could increase the drainage capacity as well as the availability of freshwater into the area, avoiding the silting of agricultural land in the vicinity of the Zwin.
 
This case will involve sectors such as flood risk management, agriculture and nature conservation organisations, and stakeholders will include various local authorities and land owners.