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06THEHAGUE2610 2006-12-14 14:25:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy The Hague
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1. A delegation led by California Senate Republican Leader
Dick Ackerman visited The Netherlands December 8-13 to
discuss flood protection, climate adaptation, and an upcoming
trade mission to San Francisco.

2. Delegation members included Senator Christine Kehoe,
(Democrat - San Diego), Senator Abel Maldonado (Republican -
Central Coast and Chair, Senate Agriculture Committee),
Assemblywoman Nicole Parra (Democrat - Hanford and Chair,
Assembly Agriculture Committee) and 10 members of the
California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy
(CFEE) - including President Patrick Mason and 6 board

3. The delegation met with representatives from the
Netherlands Water Partnership, Rijkswaterstaat, Ministry of
Economic Affairs, and Association of Dutch Water Boards to
discuss Dutch flood protection strategy, technology and
financing and their new approach to living with water and
adapting to climate change. The delegation also visited
Maeslant, a storm surge barrier constructed as an alternative
to continual levy reinforcement and designed to protect
Rotterdam from North Sea storms, and Noordwaard, a city that
has widened flood plains and is planning for future climate
change by giving rivers more space.

4. The meetings generated intense interest, discussion, and
appreciation of Dutch expertise. Following the meetings Mason
invited Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs official Maurits
Henkemans -- an emissions trading scheme expert -- to attend
a January 25-26 conference on the California Greenhouse Gas
Initiative. CFEE also discussed hosting a flood control and
protection conference for a Dutch delegation in late April or
early May.

5. The delegation also met with the Netherlands Foreign
Investment Agency (NFIA) and the U.S. Commercial Service to
discuss the September 2007 Hi-Tech Connections trade mission
to San Francisco. The conversation covered ways to attract
American key note speakers and attendees from corporations
and knowledge institutes in the areas of nanotechnology,
e-health, e-education, and e-government. NFIA considered the
meetings a success, as the delegation offered to start a
dialogue and lend their support. Senator Kehoe also invited
the mission to visit San Diego-based Biocomm, an organization
of health, computer, and software companies during the trip.