Special Water Envoy Henk Ovink will visit South Florida February 7-9 to discuss resiliency and water.
Worldwide, water is the connecting issue, the No. 1 global risk, and the opportunity for comprehensive cultural change. South Florida is ground zero when it comes to potential risks from rising water.
Ovink will visit Miami Dade County, Broward County and West Florida. On Wednesday, February 8, the Special Envoy will deliver a keynote speech at the University of Miami on the significant water challenges faced by sea-level rise among others.
As the Netherlands Special Water Envoy, Ovink’s mission is to help communities around the world become more resilient. The Netherlands is noted for its expertise in water management, coastal resilience, and building and engineering by nature.
In much of South Florida, finding short- and long-term fixes to the challenges of flooding caused by rising seas is a priority.
“The Dutch expertise, innovation and approach can be useful to tackle water challenges in South Florida. By working together to translate the experience and expertise, solutions can be co-created for these water challenges and to design a resilient future,” said Special Envoy Ovink.
About Henk Ovink
Henk Ovink was appointed by the Dutch Cabinet as the first Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 2015. As the Ambassador for Water, he is responsible for advocating water awareness around the world, focusing on building institutional capacity and coalitions among governments, multinational organizations, private sector and NGOs to address the world’s stressing needs on water and help initiate transformative interventions.
Ovink is also Sherpa to the High Level Panel on Water, installed by the UN Secretary General and the President of the World Bank to catalyze change in water awareness and implementation.
Ovink is the principal advisor for Rebuild by Design, the resilience innovation competition he developed and led for former President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. He also served as senior advisor to the chair of the task force. He has been director general for Planning and Water Affairs and director for National Spatial Development in The Netherlands.
Ovink teaches at the London School of Economics and at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and is member of the International Advisory Board of the City of Rotterdam. He was curator for the Fifth International Architecture Bienniale Rotterdam 2012 “Making City,” and he advises the Rockefeller Foundation regarding their approach to resilience and water safety.
In the run up to the visit, get to know Henk Ovink, by following him on Twitter @HenkOvink.
Watch a livestream of Mr. Ovink’s lecture at 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 8.