Program Symposium Water in Times of Climate Change

Masters of Ceremony

  • Professor Azza Karam, Secretary General-elect of Religions for Peace, and Professor Religion and Sustainable development (VU Amsterdam)
  • Jan Jorrit Hasselaar, Economist & Theologian, Coordinator Amsterdam Centre for Religion & Sustainable Development (VU Amsterdam), and Staff Dominican Study-centre for Theology and Society

Download the program (pdf).

Go to Registration.


Date: Wednesday 6 November 2019
Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam)
De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam. The university is a 10 minutes’ walk from train station Amsterdam South. This station is easily reachable by train, metro and tram.

08:30 - 09:15 - Reception with Tea and Coffee

09:30 - 12:00 - Session I: Opening
- Moderator: Professor Ruard Ganzevoort, Dean Faculty Religion & Theology (VU Amsterdam) and Senator

09:30 - 09:35 - Welcome by Professor Vinod Subramaniam, Rector Magnificus VU Amsterdam
09:35 - 09:40 - Welcome on behalf of the City of Amsterdam by Professor Caroline Nevejan, Chief Science Officer Amsterdam
09:40 - 09:50 - Opening by Professor Jan Peter Balkenende, former Prime-Minister of the Netherlands (2002-2010), Professor of Governance, Institutions and Internationalisation (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Chairman Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition
09:50 - 10:10 - Speech by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
10:10 - 10:35 - Multi-media Presentation on Consequences of Rising Sea Level by Award-winning Dutch photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen. His documentary ‘Na ons de zondvloed’ is broadcasted on Dutch television. The exhibition ‘Rising tide’ is on display at the National Maritime Museum. Addresses Representing Different Perspectives on ‘Water in Times of Climate Change’ at Global Level
10:35 - 11:05 - Science: Professor Jeroen Aerts, International Leading Scientist in the Field of Water and Climate Risk Management, and Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies (VU Amsterdam)
11:05 - 11:30 - Youth: ‘Our Cities, Our Future. How Dare You’, panel-discussion by six young people, moderated by Azza Karam
11:30 - 11:40 - Economy: CEO Pieter van Oord, Van Oord is a Leading International Company Specialised in Dredging, Marine Engineering and Offshore Projects
11:40 - 11:50 - Government: Dr. Iyad Abumoghli, Principal Coordinator of United Nations Environment Programme’s Faith for Earth Initiative
11:50 - 12:00 - Religion: His Eminence Cardinal Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (Roman Catholic Church)
12:00 - 12:15 - Closing by Azza Karam

12:15 - 13:30 - Lunch

13:30 - 16:30 - Session II: Water in Times of Climate Change in the Cities Jakarta, Cape Town and Amsterdam
- Moderators: Azza Karam and Jan Jorrit Hasselaar

Cleansing Water: Jakarta, Fastest-Sinking City
- Moderator and government perspective: Ms. Elisabeth Tarigan: as a Commitment Making Officer for Priority Infrastructure she is in charge of one of the biggest projects of DKI (Special Capital Region) Jakarta in order to manage domestic waste treatment: Jakarta Sewerage System Development Project.

- Science: Ms. Inke Prima Diyarni, working for the Development Planning Agency of DKI Jakarta. Inke participated at the Dutch Training & Exposure Programme (DUTEP) and developed an ‘Eco Mosque’ as a solution to recycle ablution water.
- Economy: Ms. Feli Napraiseti, working for the Human Settlement, Spatial Planning, Land Authority Department of DKI Jakarta. Feli participated at the DUTEP and developed a ‘green-grey solution’ in order to create a liveable city.
- Religion: Ms. Haryani Saptaningtyas, working as a researcher at a NGO in Central Java and PhD Candidate (Radboud Nijmegen University) on the relation between people’s perceptions of pollution (of Upper Citarum river) and purification (in Islamic teaching and local narratives) and their practices of water use.
- Youth: Ms. Yolanda Pantou, minister of Indonesian Christian Church Jakarta and part of the zero-waste movement in Indonesia. She is a commissionaire of the World Council of Churches as a representative of the ECHOS Youth Commission.
- Arts: Singing Performance by Inke Prima Diyarni

Life-giving Water: Cape Town, First Run-Out-of-Water City
- Moderator and scientific perspective: Kevin Winter, Senior Lecturer in Environmental & Geographical Science Department (University of Cape Town).

- Government: Michael Webster, Director Water and Sanitation City of Cape Town
- Economy: Charon Marais, Lead Researcher Water Institute University Stellenbosch and Manager Stellenbosch River Collaborative
- Religion: Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town, Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of South Africa and Chancellor University of Western Cape
- Youth: Amanda Gcanga, Economic Development Partnership and PhD Candidate at Stellenbosch University
- Arts: Visual Design Performance ‘Tapping into nature‘s wisdom’ by Corbin Raymond

15 minutes break

Threatening Water: Amsterdam, Lowest-Lying Capital City Open Sea
- Moderator: Kasper Spaan, Consultant Climate Adaptation and Urban Development (Waternet Amsterdam)

- Science: Esseline Schieven, Director of Traffic and Public Space City of Amsterdam
- Government: Roelof Kruize, CEO Waternet Amsterdam
- Economy: Marieke Abcouwer, Environmental, Social and Ethical Risk Advisor (ABN AMRO)
- Religion: Awraham Soetendorp, Rabbi and Award-winning Human Rights Advocate
- Youth: Samira Ibrahim, Student Religious Studies (VU Amsterdam) and Water Management (Delft University of Technology)
- Arts: Spoken Word Performance by Sjaan Flikweert

16:30 - 17:30 - To the boats by foot or bus. Please, be prepared for a rainy walk of 25 minutes from University to the boats.
17:30 - 19:00 - Boat Excursion Channels Centre Amsterdam, from RAI to IJ-Kantine
19:00 - 21:00 - Dinner IJ-Kantine, address: NDSM Kade 5, 1033 PG Amsterdam
21:00 - Return by public transport


Date: Thursday 7 November 2019
Location: ABN AMRO Head Office (Financial District Amsterdam South)
Gustav Mahlerlaan 10, 1082 PP Amsterdam. The bank is next to train station Amsterdam South, easily reachable by train, metro and tram.

Download an overview of the workshops (pdf).

08:15 - 08:45 - Reception with tea and coffee
08:45 - 09:00 - Welcome by Rian Vens-Hagting, Director Relationship Management Instituten & Charitas (ABN AMRO)

09:00 - 12:30 - Session III: Building Bridges
- Moderator: Professor Philipp Pattberg, Director Amsterdam Sustainability Institute, and Professor Transnational Environmental Governance and Policy

09:00 - 10:30 - Round 1 Parallel Workshops
10:30 - 11:00 - Opening by Otto Beelaerts van Emmichoven, on behalf of Kees van Dijkhuizen (CEO ABN AMRO), with response by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
11:00 - 12:30 - Round 2 Parallel Workshops

12:30 - 13:30 - Lunch

13:30 - 14:45 - Session IV: Plenary
Interviewing the moderators of the workshops. Each workshop resulted in 2 concrete recommendations. The participants are invited to rank the recommendations using Mentimeter.

14:45 - 15:15 - Break

15:15 - 16:15 - Session V: Covenant of Hope
- Moderator: Azza Karam

15:15 – 15.35 - ‘What do you take home’, Interviewing representatives of the three cities
15:35 – 15:55 - Summary Symposium
15:55 - 16:05 - Ceremony with the 300-year-old Chalice of Water Authority Amstel, Gooi and Vecht. This chalice was used for underlining and celebrating agreements that were meant for the greater good.
16.05 - 16.10 - Closing words by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
16:10 - 16:15 - Closing by Azza Karam
16:15 - 17:30 - Reception