Reflecting On The Climate Vulnerability Of Coastlines


Inspired by the North Sea Flood of 1953—which left the Netherlands devastated and also took many lives in the UK and Belgium – the music theatre work Shorelines explores the beauty and catastrophic power of the sea at a time of increased risk from climate change.

The world premiere of the Dutch-Belgian production will take place this May, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn (COP23, 6 – 17 November ). COP23 will be hosted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and will be presided over by the government of Fiji, a low-lying developing nation highly vulnerable to sea level rise and flooding.

The Fijian COP23 Presidency is making adaptation to the inevitable impacts of climate change notably for developing countries a key focus of the conference. Like the Netherlands, the UK and Belgium, Fiji is vulnerable to flooding from the sea. But as a low-lying developing nation, Fiji is in less of a position to defend itself from sea level rise, storm surges and saltwater intrusion – a situation which holds true for all vulnerable developing countries. However, there is much that all coastal regions can learn from each other, and the loss of lives from storm surges and finding ways to adapt is a common experience and need.