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Living Deltas web IHRR


GCRF Living Deltas Hub

March 2019 – Feb 2024 

Project Lead: Dr Andy Large, Newcastle University 

Durham University Leads: Prof. Julian Williams (Executive Director of the IHRR and Durham University Business School), Dr Ashar Aftab (Durham University Business School) and Dr Francisco-J. 
Hernández Adrián (Durham University School of Modern Languages and Cultures) 

River deltas comprise just 1% of global landscapes yet support over half a billion people. Deltas are vital social-ecological systems and global food-baskets, but the terrain and the livelihoods of those who rely on them are under threat from human exploitation, environmental degradation and climate change. Focusing on three deltas in Asia, this Hub will operate on a model of equitable partnership with the delta-dwellers and the research community working together to develop new knowledge and policies. 

The aim of the Hub is to safeguard delta futures through more resilient communities and sustainable development. The GCRF Living Deltas Hub will also: 

  • Develop transdisciplinary and integrative socio-ecological frameworks to capture changing delta trajectories, quantify threats and derive co-produced solutions. 
  • Raise awareness in relevant political and socio-cultural systems, identify key drivers of change and impacts, and build societal capacity through knowledge co-production and transfer. 
  • Develop a network of stakeholder partnerships with delta dwellers, NGOs, government departments, academics and businesses to scope, map, document and research human relationships with, and impacts on, deltas. 
  • Explore and quantify the complex, multi-layered and multi-directional interactions between the physical, biological, economic, social, cultural, historical and political components of these densely-inhabited delta systems. 

The GCRF Living Deltas Hub includes 55 Co-Investigators and 60 early career researchers (PDRAS and PhD students). It will focus on three river deltas; the Mekong (working in Thailand, Cambodia, LAO PDR and Vietnam), Red River (Vietnam) and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (Bangladesh and India). 

IHRR will co-lead WP6 Creating sustainable development capacity and delivering impact. This WP encompasses the Theory of Change and the Monitoring Evaluation and Learning strategy. 



Living Deltas web IHRR