BF-DELTAS

BF-DELTAS: Catalyzing action towards sustainability of deltaic systems with an integrated modeling framework for risk assessment

Support: NSF grant to IU: 1342898 and Belmont Forum

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Building upon an international collaboration of 25 research groups, the overall goal of the BF-DELTAS project is to unify our scientific understanding of deltas as coupled socio-ecological systems and to develop a science-based integrative modeling framework that can be used to assess delta vulnerability and guide sustainable management and policy decisions at the regional and local scales. During this phase, the project is focusing on the three demonstration deltas: Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM), Mekong, and the Amazon.

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The BF-DELTAS project is investigating several key questions in delta functioning and vulnerability, towards proposing sustainable solutions. These questions include: (1) How do climate change, pressure on resources, and engineering/ infrastructure development make people, biodiversity, and delta ecosystems vulnerable?  (2) How is this vulnerability to be measured?  (3) How do delta areas absorb extreme events? What are the hydrological and ecological thresholds underlying the integrity of a delta region? (4) What are the relevant local and regional hydrological, biophysical and social stressors for a particular delta system? (5) How do these interact, and how do they vary spatially and over time? (6) How can one reduce future risk while attaining sustainable development?

Project website: http://delta.umn.edu

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