On 3 June 2024, the RIAS is organizing its annual Policy Workshop dedicated to “Immersive Learning and Participatory Governance: The Role of Virtual Exchanges in Sustainable Development.” The event will take place in Middelburg.

Sea-level rise, toxic contamination, and soil erosion are just a few examples of the many challenges that delta environments like Zeeland face due to climate change. These phenomena confront local communities with difficult choices and the necessity to find innovative and adaptive solutions. For these reasons, sharing best practices, knowledge systems, and cutting-edge technologies is crucial for the sustainable development of coastal areas around the world.

This workshop offers a platform to delve into these shared challenges and explore collective responses, drawing comparisons between the Zeeuwse Delta and the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia (USA). More specifically, the workshop aims to reflect on the risks, vulnerabilities, and needs of delta communities by emphasizing the role that better awareness and understanding of socio-ecological dynamics play in formulating effective environmental policies.

Democratic environmental decision-making

The workshop draws on the outcomes of a month-long virtual exchange between university students from the Netherlands and the United States. The working sessions will explore their works and main findings. The first session tackles the relevance of GIS technologies, mapmaking, and immersive learning through virtual reality in helping students identify places of environmental distress, analyze the historical development of socio-ecological concerns, and compare different systems of environmental governance. The second session is designed to address how students learn about the functioning of democratic environmental decision-making processes and participatory approaches in environmental policy based on their engagement in online simulations and role plays.

During the workshop, students will share their views with educators, program managers, policymakers, and other stakeholders from both sides of the Atlantic.

Click here for the full program. The workshop is open to the public, but registration is mandatory.

Please complete this form by 24 May 2024 to register.