A flood protection strategy for North Manila Bay, Philippines

The increasing frequency and intensity of flooding is a major threat to the low-lying coastal area of North Manila Bay. To protect local communities and the delicate ecosystem, the Philippine government needed a partner with the right expertise in designing and delivering nature-based solutions.
North Manila Bay

Project facts

  • Client
    The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)
  • Location
    North Manila Bay, Philippines
  • Date
  • Challenge
    Protecting local communities and ecosystems from increasingly frequent and intense coastal flooding
  • Solution
    Piloting nature-based solutions as a key first step in a strategy for sustainable flood protection

The challenge: Protecting a vulnerable coast from flooding

Climate change is already having an impact on Manila Bay. And with the bay’s population expected to reach 51 million people by 2050, these effects will only escalate.

Anticipating this threat, the Philippine government’s National Economic and Development Agency (NEDA) initiated the Manila Bay Sustainable Development Masterplan. The report identified developing coastal flood defences to protect the low-lying North Manila Bay region as a priority.

Recognising Royal HaskoningDHV’s expertise in flood risk analysis and climate resilience projects, in September 2021, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency selected us to develop a flood protection strategy for North Manila Bay with a focus on sustainable solutions that complement traditional structural measures.

The solution: Working with nature to protect local communities

There are many reasons why the North Manila Bay area is particularly susceptible to flooding – from storm erosion and sediment extraction to rising sea levels and the loss of natural defences such as mangrove forests.

We began by carrying out a comprehensive assessment, considering factors such as waterways and existing flood protection structures, transportation and economic assets, and environmental and biodiversity aspects.

This assessment helped us identify a list of 20 sustainable, nature-based solutions – chosen for their potential impact on erosion reduction, sediment trapping, and storm surge protection.

But, to gain support for these solutions within local communities – and incorporate their perspective into the strategy –  we also held meetings with local stakeholders.

This consultation process helped us to develop pilot projects to deliver immediate benefits.

Jan-Willem Nell

The time to act is now. Nature-based solutions offer sustainable opportunities to transform livelihoods and restore the natural habitat in one of the Philippines' most important biodiversity areas.

Jan-Willem NellTechnical Manager & Digital Transformation Lead – Asia Pacific

The result: A framework to deliver coastal protection

The pilot projects aim to restore the sediment by reducing erosion and protecting inland areas from coastal surges, and they will create “green” embankments instead of concrete-lined revetments.

Crucially, the projects will be designed to work with local materials and local communities, creating potential sources of income. By demonstrating to local communities that livelihoods can be protected alongside caring for the environment, we create an institutional framework to deliver a long-term flood protection strategy in the North Manila Bay area.

The project report has been made digitally accessible using the iReport technology increasing the effectiveness of sharing the information on the project and visualize the outcome of the project. 

Want to know more or got a question? - Contact our Climate Resilience experts!

Want to know moreor got a question?

Contact our Climate Resilience experts!