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IHE Delft Refresher Course - Guatemala 2019

Alumni news



From 11 - 15 November IHE Delft will be organising the Refresher Course ‘Towards sustainable water management and food production using nature-based solutions in Latin America and Caribbean Countries’ in Guatemala. The course is open to Holland Alumni from Latin America and Carribean countries. 


Date: 11 to 15 November 2019

Location: Guatemala

Coordinators: Dr. Carlos Lopez Vazquez and Dr. Arlex Sanchez Torres

Counterpart Institution: University of San Carlos of Guatemala

Partner Coordinator: Alumna Karin Rossana Rivas Chávez, MSc

Open to: Alumni from Latin America and Caribbean countries

Application deadline: 31 May 2019 - 23.59 (CET) 



Worldwide, there has been an exponential growth, triggered mainly by economic factors (e.g. transportation, logistics, recreational, etc.). The Latin America and Caribbean regions are not an exception to this phenomenon, with 50% growth in 25 years, driven by a population totalling 650 million inhabitants in 2018. However, at the same time,the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels and other changes, have started to affect the regions, causing extreme weather events. Currently, 3/4 of the countries in Latin America and the Caribe are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, causing an economic impact of US$ 15-20 billions every year. The spatial and seasonal water distribution (dry and wet periods) is rather uneven, hence the spatial distribution of water resources and its availability for all users is and will continue to increase the number of potential conflicts and disputes in key economic sectors, such as food production, energy and (fresh) water supply. This may jeopardize the well-being and future development of the region.

Several governments and organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean have started to include prevention and mitigation actions in their National development plans and they are just starting to forecast and sketch certain potential solutions. On the other hand, the European Union, and in particular The Netherlands, are world leaders in the implementation of actions and plans to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change. This has recently been reinforced with the incorporation of innovative nature-based solutions, with several public and private organizations, institutions and companies active and eager to expand their scope and reach to other regions.

The course is planned according to the main needs of the region. Among all countries in the LAAC regions (Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Surinam) the common thematic foci are water management, agri-food and food production. Water management practices needs to be enhanced in the region,  which will lead to better practices, reinforced “do more with less” principle, promote efficiency, circular economy and sustainability. Better water resources management will lead to the achievement of multiple benefits across different economic sectors and the environment.


Target Audience

This course is intended for Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP)/Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) alumni from Latin America and the Caribbean region and neighbouring countries. The purpose is to disseminate latest knowledge on topics which are relevant for for the countries and institutions in the region, as well as potentially relevant for the following sectors: Food production, Water and Wastewater treatment and technologies, Urban water and sanitation, Flood risk management, Flood resilience management, Food industry effluent treatment, and Cleaner production.
The course is related to the following IHE Delft MSc programmes and specializations:
- Water Science and Engineering;
- Hydroinformatics;
- Urban Water and Sanitation;
- Environmental Sciences;
- Urban Water Engineering and Management;



The main objective of this Refresher Course is to provide an update on innovative knowledge and practices, using nature-based solutions for sustainable water management and its essential (inter-)relationship with food production. The specific objectives are:
- To provide the state-of-the-art knowledge, tools and techniques, case-studies of experiences and
good practice, on nature-based solutions for sustainable water management and linkages with food
production, in particular from the relevant Dutch sectors;
- To contribute to the development of back-home-action plans with implementation actions for the
participants when returning home;
- To create and stimulate a knowledge sharing platform for alumni in the LAAC region, to maintain contact with the Dutch companies and institutions to conduct potential projects.

More information and application 

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