SDG 13: Zuiderzee

Picture uploaded from the Wageningen University & Research

The creation of the “Suder See”, later known as the Zuiderzee first began to appear around 1250-1450, when Schokland became an island due to the construction of large circular dikes, polders and drainage systems that were meant to push out salty water away from the area and create a “traffic hub” for local transportation of resources. By sealing off the Zuiderzee, the development of dikes in Noordoostpolder proved to be solid grounds for construction and reinforcements of the region. In addition, the installation of pumping stations played a major role in draining the polder and keeping the soil inhabitable.

When connecting the creation of Zuiderzee to SDG, it is evident that throughout history, people residing around the Northwest area were suffering from unsafe settlements, and were struggling with no safe access to their resources. It is clearly evident that the creation of the region was of high importance for securing habitation in the Zuiderzee.

However, while reading the chapters I believed that by continuously claiming lands from the sea there would be a sort of harm towards life below the sea. The readings would reassure in some sections that the safety of the environment was also considered when planning the steps. After doing some independent research on Wageningen University, I found out that IJsselmeer is truly being looked after with annual checks and investigations to determine the maintenance of a sustainable ecological exploitation and water systems. Hence, I stood corrected. Although polders and drainage systems in the past seemed to be a process that would harm life below the water, the people of the Netherlands have successfully been able to promote a safe natural environment and demonstrate full determination towards achieve the 13th SDG.

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